Aromatic shrubs or small trees, deciduous in cool climates. Twigs rounded or angular, slender, resinous-dotted when young; pith small, somewhat angled, continuous, green. Buds small,solitary, sessile, sub-globose or ovoid, with 2 or 4 exposed scales; end-bud absent. Leaf-scars alternate, half-elliptical or somewhat 3-sided, more or less raised; bundle-traces 3; stipule-scars (if present) small. Fruit globose or ovoid, with a waxy coat or resinous dots.
Buds conical or oblong; fruits covered with resin-drops
Buds subglobose, obtuse; fruits white or drab, encrusted with heavy wax
b. Leaves mostly deciduous; twigs villous when young; fruit 4 mm. in diameter
b. Leaves evergreen; twigs essentially glabrous
c. Leaves 4-9 cm. long; fruits 2-3 mm. in diameter
c. Leaves 1-4 cm. long; fruits 3-4 mm. in diameter
1. _M. gale L. Sweet Gale. Shrub 0. 3-2 m. high, with strongly ascending brown branches; buds conical-ovoid. Swamps, Labrador to Alaska, south to New York, Minnesota and Oregon, and in the Appalachians to North Carolina and Tennessee (Fig. 36).
2. M. pensylvanica Loisel. Bayberry. Candleberry. ( M. caroliniensis of authors, not Mill.). Stout stiffly branched shrub 0. 3-2 m. high (rarely up to 4. 5 m. high, with a trunk 1. 2 dm. in diameter); branches mostly whitish-gray or drab, the young ones villous, pilose, or glabrate; buds about 4 mm. long; fruits covered with white wax, 3. 5-4. 5 mm. in diameter. Sterile soil, mostly in the coastal plain, North Carolina to Newfoundland, inland about Lake Erie (Fig. 37).
3. M_. cerifera L. Wax-Myrtle. Shrub or tree up to 12 m. high, with a trunk diameter up to 2 dm. ; young branches waxy, glabrous or sparsely pilose; leaves evergreen,narrowly oblanceolate, 4-9 cm. long and 0. 5-2 cm. broad, yellow-green, coriaceous, heavily coated with waxy granules; buds small, about 1mm. long, glandular-dotted; fruit 2-3 mm. in diameter. Thickets and swamps, Florida to Texas, north to New Jersey and Arkansas; mostly on the coastal plain (Fig. 38).
4. M. pusilla Raf. Dwarf Wax-Myrtle. Low colonial sto-loniferous shrub 0.2-2 m. high; branchlets waxy, glabrous or nearly so; leaves evergreen, coriaceous, oblanceolate to obovate and obtuse, 1. 5-4 cm. long; fruits 3-4 mm. in diameter. Pine barrens and woods, Florida to Texas, north to Delaware and Arkansas; mostly on the coastal plain (Fig. 39).
Fig. 36. Myrica gale.
Fig. 37. Myrica pensylvanica.
Fig. 38. Myrica cerifera.
Fig. 39. Myrica pusilla.