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Tree Campus: Pacific Wax Myrtle

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Pacific Wax Myrtle

Morella (Myrica) calfornica (MYRICACEAE)



W. North America, BC to California



"The fruit, consisting of small purplish berries that ripen in the autumn, is consumed by native wildlife, especially migrating birds." [2]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"Wax from the pulp of the fruit was used to make aromatic candles. The wax was also used in making soups. A gray-brown and a maroon-purple dye was obtained from the fresh or dried berries. This species was easily grown and valued especially on the Pacific Coast for its berries and evergreen leaves." [1]



"Myrica californica is used in tree strips for windbreaks. They are planted and managed to protect livestock, enhance production, and control soil erosion. Windbreaks can help communities with harsh winter conditions better handle the impact of winter storms and reduce home heating costs during the winter months. They also provide shade and wind protection during the summer, which aids in the reduction of cooling bills." [1]



[1] Jammie Favorite. (2002). PACIFIC WAXMYRTLE Morella californica. formerly USDA, NRCS, National Plant Data Center Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

[2] Putnam, M. L., Serdani, M., Curtis, M., & Angima, S. (2011). Phytophthora leaf blight–a new disease of California wax-myrtle (Morella californica) in Oregon, USA caused by a Phytophthora species. New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science, 41(Suppl.).

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