Northern Bayberry Myrica pensylvanica
Family: Myricaceae (Wax-myrtle)
Branching: Alternate

Bayberry is a similar shrub to Sweet-gale, though it tends to grow larger and on drier sites.  In the growing season, it has larger leaves of a lighter green, and is much more fragrant.  In the winter, its buds are almost spherical, and often very numerous on the ends of twigs.  The waxy dots that characterize these two species are not as obvious in the winter, though they can still be present.  The spicy smell is still often noticeable in broken twigs in the winter.  In Ontario, it is quite uncommon, though it is more common in southern and eastern areas.  

Winter twig of Bayberry

Another view of the winter twig

Close up of buds and leaf scar

Another view of the buds and leaf scar; notice the small yellow resin dots in the full-sized picture

Dwarf shoot with clustered leaf scars

The upper twigs often radiate out from a central "hub"

Close up of end buds

The ripe fruits of Bayberry

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copyright 2008 Josh Sayers
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