Morella pumila

Species:Morella pumila (Michx.) Small
Common Name:Dwarf Bayberry
Associated Ecological Communities:**
Growth Habit:Shrub
USDA Symbol:**
Plant Notes:Dwarf Bayberry is a native evergreen shrub in the Bayberry family (Myricaceae). It is found in the southern-most counties of Alabama. Dwarf Bayberry grows in a wide variety of sandy habitats from moist pine savannas, to dry longleaf pine/scrub oak woods, and along small creeks. It is very similar to Common Wax Myrtle (Morella cerifera (Linnaeus) Small), and is considered by some to be a dwarf fire adapted variety of that species. Dwarf Bayberry forms colonies of stems from a horizontal, stoloniferous rootstock. The stems are 1-3 feet in height and branched above the middle. It has alternate, petiolate, evergreen, oblanceolate leaves that have yellowish glandular dots on the underside. The leaves are about half the size of those of Common Wax Myrtle. They are aromatic and the margins are toothed above the middle. Dwarf Bayberry is dioecious, with male and female flowers produced on separate plants. The male flowers are produced in cone-like catkins. The female plants produce an abundance of small drupes covered in a waxy bloom. The fruit is an important source of food for many bird species. Dwarf Bayberry is available in the nursery trade. There are several named cultivars which vary in height, leaf size, and color. It is deer resistant and usually pest free. It can be used as a low hedge or ground cover. When plants become leggy, they can be cut back to ground level to encourage dense sprouting. Dwarf Bayberry also produces root nodules associated with a symbiotic actinomycete that are capable of atmospheric nitrogen fixation at a rate higher than that of legumes.—A. Diamond
Taxonomic Notes:**
Specimen: View specimen details in the Alabama Herbarium Consortium Specimen Database

** Not applicable or data not available.


FamilyMYRICACEAE - Bayberry family
Genus Morella
Species Morella pumila (Michx.) Small - Dwarf Bayberry


Citation MORELLA PUMILA (Michx.) Small, Fl. S.E. U.S. 337, 1329. 1903. (22 Jul 1903)
Basionym: Myrica cerifera var. pumila 1803.
Type: **

** Not applicable or data not available.


SynonymFull CitationBasionymType
Myrica cerifera var. pumila Myrica cerifera var. pumila Michx. , FL. Bor.-Amer. 2: 228. 1803.  

Specimens and Distribution

This species has been reported in the following counties by the herbaria listed. An overview of the individual specimens are provided in the table that follows. Click on the accession number to view details; click on column headers to sort; choose a county or herbaria to filter the specimen data.

Counties included on distribution map: Baldwin, Escambia

Counties represented by specimen data listed below:

Herbaria represented by specimen data listed below: TROY, USAM, UWAL

Range of years during which specimens were collected: -

Barcode / Accession No. County Coll. Date Collector &
Collection No.
Herbarium &
Herbarium Name Used
TROY000042819 Escambia 17 Sep 2015 Diamond, Alvin R.
Morella pumila (Michaux) Small
UWAL0030336 Escambia 17 Sep 2015 Diamond, Alvin R.
Morella pumila (Michaux) Small
UWAL0048207 Baldwin 31 Jan 2015 Horne, Howard E.
Morella pumila (Michaux) Small
TROY000047099 Baldwin 11 Apr 1975 Lelong, Michel G.
Morella pumila (Michx.) Small
UWAL0037978 Baldwin 11 Apr 1975 LeLong, Michel G.
Morella pumila (Michaux) Small
USAM000008690 Baldwin 11 Apr 1975 LeLong, Michel G.
Myrica pumila (Michaux) Small
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