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SPECIES: Myrica cerifera | Southern Bayberry
ABBREVIATION : MYRCER SYNONYMS : Morella cerifera (L.) Small Cerothamnus cerifera (L.) Small Cerothamnus Pumilus (Michx.) Small Myrica carolinensis Mill. Myrica pusilla Raf. Myrica mexicana Willd. SCS PLANT CODE : MYCE COMMON NAMES : southern bayberry southern waxmyrtle waxmyrtle candleberry bayberry dwarf waxmyrtle cerero arrayan TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for southern bayberry is Myrica cerifera L. (Myricaceae). There are no recognized forms or subspecies. Recognized varieties include [8]: var. cerifera var. pumila Michx. M. cerifera var. cerifera is a dwarf variety recognized as a separate species, Cerothamnus pumilis (Michx.), by Small [16]. M. cerifera hybridizes with M. pennsylvania to produce M. X macfarlanei Youngken [16]. LIFE FORM : Tree, Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY COMPILED BY AND DATE : Timothy R. Van Deelen, July 1991 LAST REVISED BY AND DATE : NO-ENTRY AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Van Deelen, Timothy R. 1991. In: Remainder of Citation


SPECIES: Myrica cerifera | Southern Bayberry
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Southern bayberry is most common in peninsular Florida and on the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States. It occurs from the Florida Keys north to southern New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware; west to eastern Texas, southeast Oklahoma, and central Arkansas. Atypical reported occurrences include Maine, Massachusetts, and New York. Outside the United States, southern bayberry grows in Bermuda, Cuba, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and the British West Indies. It grows in Mexico, Central America, and South America from Costa Rica to Belize [16,20,26]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine FRES14 Oak - pine FRES15 Oak - hickory FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress FRES32 Texas savanna FRES41 Wet grasslands STATES : AR FL GA HI LA ME MD MA MS NY NC OK TX VA MEXICO ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS : ACAD ASIS BICY BITH CAHA CALO COLO COSW CUIS EVER FOCA GATE GUIS HOSP JELA BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K062 Mesquite - live oak savanna K079 Palmetto prairie K080 Marl - everglades K089 Black belt K090 Live oak - sea oats K091 Cypress savanna K092 Everglades K105 Mangrove K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest K112 Southern mixed forest K113 Southern floodplain forest K114 Pocosin K116 Subtropical pine forest SAF COVER TYPES : 70 Longleaf pine 71 Longleaf pine - scrub oak 72 Southern scrub oak 73 Southern redcedar 74 Cabbage palmetto 80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine 81 Loblolly pine 82 Loblolly pine - hardwood 83 Longleaf pine - slash pine 84 Slash pine 100 Pondcypress 102 Baldcypress - tupelo 103 Water tupelo - swamp tupelo 104 Sweetbay - swamp tupelo - red bay 105 Tropical hardwoods 106 Mangrove 111 South Florida slash pine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Southern bayberry is common in a variety of habitats and plant communities in the southeastern United States. It grows equally well with the subtropical vegetation of south Florida and the temperate vegetation of the Inland Coastal Plain. Southern bayberry is the most common shrub in the longleaf (Pinus palustris)-slash pine (P. elliotii) type [3,20,23,36]. Other common overstory associates include loblolly pine (P. taeda), southern redcedar (Juniperus silicicola) [11], cabbage palmetto (Sabel palmetto) [48], pond pine (Pinus serotina) [4], live oak (Quercus virginiana) [19], spruce pine (Pinus glabra) [22], and baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) [11,33]. Common understory associates include dahoon holly (Ilex cassine), sawgrass (Cladium jamacensis) [30], muhly grass (Muhlenbergia spp.), beard grass (Andropogon spp.), saltbush (Baccharis halmifolia), myrsine (Myrsine floridana), and sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana) [49].


SPECIES: Myrica cerifera | Southern Bayberry
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : NO-ENTRY IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : A consistent contributor to the available browse biomass in southeastern forests, southern bayberry is occasionally eaten by cattle [7]. Southern bayberry frequently invades rangeland and decreases the production of more palatable forage [45]. Many birds eat southern bayberry fruit, including the northern bobwhite quail and the wild turkey [15]. The seeds are important winter food for Carolina wrens and tree sparrows [17]. PALATABILITY : Southern bayberry is unpalatable to white-tailed deer in eastern Texas [24,25]. Its palatability to cattle is unreported. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : Diffuse southern bayberry growth provides some cover for northern bobwhite quail, although unrestricted growth produces unusable habitat [21]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Southern bayberry's usefullness for disturbed site rehabilitation is unknown. Useful attributes include a moderate tolerance of salt-spray [34] and an ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen at a rate that exeeds that of legumes [9]. Wild southern bayberry seeds can be harvested by hand or shaken onto a canvas. Seed processing requires removal of the waxy coat by mechanical agitation or rubbing over a dry screen. Before sowing, the seeds require stratification at 34 to 40 degrees F (1-4 deg C) for 90 days. The seeds should be drilled into rows 8 to 12 inches (20-30 cm) apart and covered with 0.25 inch (0.8 cm) of firmed soil. Fall plantings should be mulched. Southern bayberry yields approximately 84,000 cleaned seeds per pound (184,000/kg) [20]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Southern bayberry is the source of wax used in making bayberry candles. Boiling removes the wax from the fruit. The genus name comes from the Greek "myrike", meaning tamarisk or some other fragrant plant. The specific epithet, cerifera, means "wax-bearing" [20,41]. Southern bayberry was first cultivated in 1699 for medicinal purposes. Its leaves, bark, and fruit yield pharmaceutical chemicals [20]. Southern bayberry is a popular ornamental because it grows quickly, responds well to pruning, and is heavily clothed in attractive evergreen foliage [20,41]. MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Southern bayberry is an understory pest on southern pine plantations. It competes with pine seedlings and contribute to an accumulation of understory fuels which increases the potential for damaging wildfires [27,28]. Pearson and others [36] believe that the presence of southern bayberry on grazed longleaf pine plantations may have eased grazing pressure on the pine seedlings. A 20 percent Garlon 4, 10 percent Cide-kick (a penetrant), 70 percent diesel-oil herbicide mixture can be used for southern bayberry control. Basal applications should be made in February, using the "streamline" technique [32]. Tests of burning, chopping, and blading methods for southern bayberry control found that southern bayberry can return to pretreatment levels within 3 years [43].


SPECIES: Myrica cerifera | Southern Bayberry
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Southern bayberry is an erect, evergreen, small tree or shrub. It is native to low-elevation tropical, subtropical, and warm-temperate regions of the Americas. It grows to a maximum height of 40 feet (12 m), and a maximum d.b.h. of 12.5 inches (32 cm) at maturity [16,20]. Its flat leaves are toothed near the end and aromatic when crushed [3]. The diminutive flowers are unisexual, dioecious, and borne on catkinlike axillary spikes. Southern bayberry fruit are small, light green, dry drupes which are covered with a conspicuous layer of pale blue wax, giving them a "warty" appearance. Each axillary spike bears 1 to 12 berries, which may persist over winter [10,20]. The seeds have no endosperm [20]. Southern bayberry is clonal, with several stems growing from a common root collar. Underground runners extend the growth laterally [16]. Root nodules, associated with a symbiotic actinomycete, are capable of atmospheric nitrogen fixation [9]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Undisturbed State: Phanerophyte (microphanerophyte) Phanerophyte (nanophanerophyte) Burned or Clipped State: Cryptophyte (geophyte) REGENERATION PROCESSES : Southern bayberry reproduces vegetatively by sprouting from its root collar and underground runners [9]. Seedlings will establish on disturbed sites [39], but the seeds require removal of their waxy coating before they will germinate [20]. Birds, feeding on southern bayberry fruit, probably accomplish wax removal and seed dispersal. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Southern bayberry grows on a variety of sites but seems to be restricted to climates with mild winters and long, hot, humid summers, and elevations below 500 feet (150 m). It grows in heavy soils [41] which may be either wet or dry, in habitats that may be open or wooded [3]. Southern bayberry's ecological amplitude is demonstrated by reported growth on fresh to slightly brackish banks and shores, flats and interdune swales, pine and palmetto flatwoods and savannas, cypress-gum ponds and swamps, wet and dry prairies, pitcher-plant bogs, upland mixed woodlands, old fields, and fence and hedge rows [6,16,40]. Additionally, it grows on sites that are peculiar to the Florida Everglades, particularly the drier portions [29] where it reaches its highest density with low to medium flooding [41]. Such sites include tree islands, cypress heads, and wet and dry hammocks [10,16,29,47]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Southern bayberry is an early successional species. It is one of the first woody plants to invade secondary dunes and beach meadows in the Southeast [9], and naturally reseeds disturbed sites from adjacent forests [31]. In the Everglades, increased human-caused disturbance, such as draining and burning, has caused southern bayberry to become more common as it invades sawgrass, marl prairie, and mixed hardwood swamp communities. Dense thickets form, known locally as "hell nests" [18,29,47]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Southern bayberry flowers between February and June. Its fruit ripens from August to October [2].


SPECIES: Myrica cerifera | Southern Bayberry
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Southern bayberry is a fire survivor. Its root collar suvives fire and it regenerates by basal sprouting [44,45]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : survivor species; on-site surviving root crown or caudex


SPECIES: Myrica cerifera | Southern Bayberry
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fire easily top-kills southern bayberry shrubs [44]. Typically the entire aerial portion of the stem dies [13], although extremely light fires may only kill the most recent annual growth [21]. The root collar survives and remains vigorous. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : Southern bayberry stems die quickly. The stems and foliage of southern bayberry contain large amounts of aromatic compounds that are quite flammable [6], making it a potential fire hazard. Presumably, severe enough fires will kill southern bayberry rootstock, although no such instances were reported in the literature. The rootstock is apparently quite hardy. PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Southern bayberry sprouts vigorously from surviving root collars following fire [2]. The most vigorous growth occurs in the 1st postfire year [1]. Stem density and frequency increase rapidly relative to cover. Cover increases less rapidly because the southern bayberry clones are self-thinning [2,44]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : Fire periodicity probably determines the long-term fire response of southern bayberry. In loblolly stands in South Carolina, single or occasional summer fires caused southern bayberry cover to increase. By contrast, annual summer fires reduced southern bayberry cover and sprouting vigor, eventually eliminating it. Lotti [27] documented 100 percent mortality after as few as three successive annual summer fires. Fire response may be site dependant as well. A single fire on an eastern Texas slash pine stand caused a steady decline in southern bayberry for 3 years [24]. On wet everglades sites (sawgrass, marl prairie, mixed hardwood swamp), drainage coupled with frequent burning favors southern bayberry invasion [18,40,47]. On drier savannas, fire suppression favors southern bayberry invasion [5,6]. On eastern Texas longleaf pine savannas, southern bayberry control required fires every 5 years [6]. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Lotti [28] recommended four successive annual fires or three successive biannual summer fires to achieve a cummulative southern bayberry mortality of about 90 percent. Winter fires are less effective than summer fires for southern bayberry control and may be used when management goals call for southern bayberry enhancement [28,44]. Winter fires can be used for control if done frequently. When southern bayberry invasion is undesireable, fires should be annual for the first several years, then become less frequent as southern bayberry cover decreases. Such a prescription may be combined with grazing for control and maintenance at a level where southern bayberry provides livestock forage [26,45]. On nitrogen-poor sites, managers should be cautious about southern bayberry control. Annual fires greatly reduce southern bayberry density, minimizing its nitrogen-fixing contribution [42]. Dry fuel weights can be predicted from basal stem diameters for southern bayberry. Refer to Reeves and Lenhart [39] for fuel load calculations.


SPECIES: Myrica cerifera | Southern Bayberry
REFERENCES : 1. Abrahamson, Warren G. 1984. Post-fire recovery of Florida Lake Wales Ridge vegetation. American Journal of Botany. 71(1): 9-21. [9509] 2. Abrahamson, Warren G. 1984. Species response to fire on the Florida Lake Wales Ridge. American Journal of Botany. 71(1): 35-43. [9608] 3. Boyer, W. D. 1990. Pinus palustris Mill. longleaf pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 405-412. [13398] 4. Bramlett, David L. 1990. Pinus serotina Michx. pond pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 470-475. [13407] 5. Bridges, Edwin L.; Orzell, Steve L. 1989. Longleaf pine communities of the west Gulf Coastal Plain. Natural Areas Journal. 9(4): 246-263. [10091] 6. Christensen, Norman L. 1981. Fire regimes in southeastern ecosystems. In: Mooney, H. A.; Bonnicksen, T. M.; Christensen, N. L.; [and others], technical coordinators. Fire regimes and ecosystem properties: Proceedings of the conference; 1978 December 11-15; Honolulu, HI. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-26. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 112-136. [4391] 7. Clary, Warren P. 1979. Grazing and overstory effects on rotationally burned slash pine plantation ranges. Journal of Range Management. 32(4): 264-266. [9657] 8. Clewell, Andre F. 1985. Guide to the vascular plants of the Florida Panhandle. Tallahassee, FL: Florida State University Press. 605 p. [13124] 9. Davison, Kathryn L.; Bratton, Susan P. 1988. Vegetation response and regrowth after fire on Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia. Castanea. 53(1): 47-65. [4483] 10. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764] 11. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 12. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 13. Grelen, H. E.; Enghardt, H. G. 1973. Burning and thinning maintain forage in a longleaf pine plantation. Journal of Forestry. 71: 419,420,425. [7634] 14. Grelen, Harold E. 1983. Comparison of seasons and frequencies of burning in a young slash pine plantation. Res. Pap. SO-185. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 5 p. [10996] 15. Grimm, William Cary. 1967. Recongizing native shrubs. Camping Journal. September: 49-61. [10897] 16. Godfrey, Robert K. 1988. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of northern Florida and adjacent Georgia and Alabama. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 734 p. [10239] 17. Hardin, Kimberly I.; Evans, Keith E. 1977. Cavity nesting bird habitat in the oak-hickory forests--a review. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-30. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 23 p. [13859] 18. Hofstetter, Ronald H.; Parsons, Frances. 1979. The ecology of sawgrass in the Everglades of southern Florida. In: Linn, Robert M., ed. Proceedings, 1st conference on scientific research in the National Parks; 1976 November 9-12; New Orleans, LA. Vol. 1. Transactions and Proceedings Series No. 5. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service: 165-170. [11527] 19. Johnston, Marshall C. 1963. Past and present grasslands of southern Texas and northeastern Mexico. Ecology. 44(3): 456-466. [3941] 20. Krochmal, Arnold. 1974. Myrica L. Bayberry. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 450. Washington: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 548-550. [7711] 21. Komarek, Roy. 1963. Fire and the changing wildlife habitat. In: Proceedings, 2nd annual Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1963 March 14-15; Tallahassee, FL. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 35-43. [13532] 22. Kossuth, Susan V.; Michael, J. L. 1990. Pinus glabra Walt. spruce pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654.. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 355-358. [13195] 23. Klebenow, Donald A.; Beall, Robert C. 1977. Fire impacts on birds and mammals on Great Basin rangelands. In: [Source unknown]. Reno, NV: University of Nevada, Division of Renewable Natural Resources: 59-62. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Lab, Missoula, MT. [1348] 24. Lay, Daniel W. 1956. Effects of prescribed burning on forage and mast production in southern pine forests. Journal of Forestry. 54: 582-584. [13828] 25. Lay, Daniel W. 1957. Browse quality and the effects of prescribed burning in southern pine forests. Journal of Forestry. 55: 342-347. [7633] 26. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 375 p. [2952] 27. Lotti, Thomas. 1955. Summer fires kill understory hardwoods. Res. Notes Number 71. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. 3 p. [11615] 28. Lotti, Thomas. 1959. The use of fire in the management of Coastal Plain loblolly pine. In: Proceedings, Society of American Foresters annual meeting; 1959; San Francisco, CA. Bethesda, MD: Society of American Foresters: 18-20. [11614] 29. Loveless, Charles M. 1959. A study of the vegetation in the Florida Everglades. Ecology. 40(1): 1-9. [11478] 30. Lyon, L. Jack; Stickney, Peter F. 1976. Early vegetal succession following large northern Rocky Mountain wildfires. In: Proceedings, Tall Timbers fire ecology conference and Intermountain Fire Research Council fire and land management symposium; 1974 October 8-10; Missoula, MT. No. 14. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 355-373. [1496] 31. Manci, Karen M. 1989. Riparian ecosystem creation and restoration: a literature summary. Biol. Rep.89(20). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 60 p. [11757] 32. Miller, James H. 1990. Streamline basal application of herbicide for small-stem hardwood control. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. 14(4): 161-165. [13538] 33. Monk, Carl D.; Brown, Timothy W. 1965. Ecological consideration of cypress heads in north-central Florida. American Midland Naturalist. 74: 126-140. [10848] 34. Oosting, Henry J. 1954. Ecological processes and vegetation of the maritime strand in the southeastern United States. Botanical Review. 20: 226-262. [10730] 35. Pearson, H. A.; Whitaker, L. B.; Duvall, V. L. 1971. Slash pine regeneration under regulated grazing. Journal of Forestry. 69: 744-746. [13830] 36. Pearson, Henry A.; Grelen, Harold E.; Parresol, Bernie R.; Wright, Vernon L. 1987. Detailed vegetative description of the longleaf-slash pine type, Vernon District, Kisatchie National Forest, Louisiana. In: Pearson, Henry A.; Smeins, Fred E.; Thill, Ronald E., compilers. Ecological, physical, and socioeconomic relationships within southern National Forests: Proceedings of the southern evaluation project workshop; 1987 May 26-27; Long Beach, MS. Gen. Tech. Rep. SO-68. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station: 107-115. [11574] 37. Pessin, L. J. 1933. Forest associations in the uplands of the lower Gulf Coastal Plain (longleaf pine belt). Ecology. 14(1): 1-14. [12389] 38. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 39. Reeves, Hershel C.; Lenhart, J. David. 1988. Fuel weight prediction equations for understory woody plants in eastern Texas. Texas Journal of Science. 40(1): 49-53. [3682] 40. Richardson, Donald Robert. 1977. Vegetation of the Atlantic Coastal Ridge of Palm Beach County, Florida. Florida Scientist. 40(4): 281-330. [9644] 41. Soper, James H.; Heimburger, Margaret L. 1982. Shrubs of Ontario. Life Sciences Misc. Publ. Toronto, ON: Royal Ontario Museum. 495 p. [12907] 42. Stone, Earl L., Jr. 1971. Effects of prescribed burning on long-term productivity of Coastal Plain soils. In: Prescribed burning symposium: Proceedings; 1971 April 14-16; Charleston, SC. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 115-129. [10427] 43. Stransky, John J.; Huntley, Jimmy C.; Risner, Wanda J. 1986. Net community production dynamics in the herb-shrub stratum of a loblolly pine-hardwood forest: effects of clearcutting and site prepar. Gen. Tech. Rep. SO-61. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 11 p. [9835] 44. Taylor, Dale L.; Herndon, Alan. 1981. Impact of 22 years of fire on understory hardwood shrubs in slash pine communities within Everglades National Park. Report T-640. Homestead, FL: National Park Service, South Florida Research Center, Everglades National Park. 30 p. [11961] 45. Terry, Steve W.; White, Larry D. 1979. Southern wax-myrtle response following winter prescribed burning in south Florida. Journal of Range Management. 32(4): 326-327. [10043] 46. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 47. Wade, Dale; Ewel, John; Hofstetter, Ronald. 1980. Fire in South Florida ecosystems. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-17. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. 125 p. [10362] 48. Wade, Dale D.; Langdon, O. Gordon. 1990. Sabal palmetto (Walt.) Lodd. ex J. A. & J. H. Schult. cabbage palmetto. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 762-767. [13806] 49. Wunderlin, Richard P. 1982. Guide to the vascular plants of central Florida. Tampa, FL: University Presses of Florida, University of South Florida. 472 p. [13125]


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