Myrica californica

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Species Name: Myrica californica
Common Name: Pacific Wax Myrtle

Recommended as a fast growing hedge or small tree. Leaves are fragrant. Roots are nitrogen-fixing. Does best on coast in part sun. Inland give extra water and more shade.

Plant Family: Myricaceae
Plant Type: Shrub
Height by Width: 20-30' H x 15-20' W
Growth Habit: Upright, with spreading limbs
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Rate: Fast
Sun Exposure: Part sun to shade
Soil Preference: Adaptable
Water Requirements: Occasional to regular
Cold Hardy to: 35 degrees F
Flower Season: Spring
Flower Color: Yellowish
Endangered?: Not listed
Distribution: North Coast Range, Western Klamath Range, Outer North Coast Range, Central Coast, Western San Francisco Bay, South Coast Ranges
Natural Habitat: Coastal dunes and scrub, closed cone pine and redwood forests to 500'

Songbird iconA.jpg Oak iconA.jpg Clay iconA.jpg Fragrant iconA.jpg

Care and Maintenance

  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "A rare and beautiful shrub or small tree of dense branching habit, attaining a height of 8 to 30 feet, with handsome oblong dark glossy green foliage. Found in canyons in the Santa Monica mountains and from there northward near the coast. For foliage effect it is one of the most desirable of the native shrubs. It stands ordinary garden culture quite well and will grow well in shade. Gallon cans, $1.00; 5 gallon cans, $2.50."
Other Names
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.