Morella (Myrica) pennsylvanica

Northern Bayberry
Photo credit with thanks to Framartin via Wikipedia
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A tall shrub with many benefits to songbirds, including warblers, grouse, bobwhite, and pheasant. Morella (Myrica) pennsylvanica, the Northern Bayberry, is native to eastern North America, from Newfoundland west to Ontario and Ohio, and south to North Carolina.

Morella pennsylvanica is a deciduous shrub growing to 4.5 m tall. The leaves are 2.5-7 cm long and 1.5-2.7 cm broad, broadest near the leaf apex, serrate, and sticky with a spicy scent when crushed. The flowers are borne in catkins 3-18 mm long, in range of colors from green to red. The fruit is a wrinkled berry 3-5.5 mm diameter, with a pale blue-purple waxy coating; they are an important food for Yellow-rumped Warblers.

The leaves are fragrant and the wax from the berries is used to make bayberry candles.

This species has root nodules containing nitrogen-fixing microorganisms, allowing it to grow in relatively poor soils.  It is often found growing on the sandy dunes in the north Atlantic states.

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