Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Morella cerifera
(L.) Small, Myricaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 20 (Go to the risk assessment).

Other Latin names:  Myrica cerifera L.; Myrica pumila (Michx.) Small

Common name(s): [more details]

English: bayberry, candleberry, southern bayberry, southern wax-myrtle, wax myrtle, waxberry

French: arbre à cire

Spanish: arrayán, cera vegetal

Habit:  tree

Description:  "To 35 ft.; leaves evergreen, to 3 in. long, acute, entire to sharply serrate above middle; flowers grayish-white, less than 1/8 in. in diameter" (Bailey & Bailey, 1976; p. 749).

"Monoecious, large, evergreen shrub or small tree, clumping, irregular, rounded, densely foliated and medium-textured. Reaches a height and spread of 35 ft, but is usually seen in the 15-20 ft range. Growth rate is rapid. Leaves simple, alternate, oblanceolate, to 4 in long, often undulate. The thin, olive green leaves are often coarsely serrate along apical margins and dotted with tiny rusty glands on both sides. Aromatic. multiple crooked trunks are covered with smooth, grayish-white bark. Young stems light green to gray, pubescent. Suckers frequently from trunk bases and roots. Plants dioecious; flowers inconspicuous, small axillary catkins appear in March. Fruit grayish-blue, 0.25 in wide, in dense clusters along the twigs in fall. The fruit are heavily coated with wax." (Dehgan 1998).

Habitat/ecology:  Mesic forests in Hawai‘i. "Grows best in moist peaty soil" (Bailey & Bailey, 1976; p. 749). "Thickets, woods and swamps" (Fernald, 1970; p. 524).

Propagation:  Seed (bird-dispersed) and root suckers.

Native range:  United States, Mexico, West Indies, Central America (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Frohlich, Danielle/Lau, Alex (2012) (p. 40)
Voucher cited: R. L. Stemmermann 6936 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Frohlich, Danielle/Lau, Alex (2012) (p. 40)
Voucher cited: A. Lau & D. Frohlich 2010030902 (BISH)
Adventive, perhaps naturalized.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Meidell, J. Scott/Oppenheimer, H. L./Bartlett, R. T. (1997) (p. 17)
West Maui. Voucher cited: Meidell & Oppenheimer 127 (BISH). Subject of an eradication program.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Chile (continental)
Chile
Chile (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 243)
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Panama
Panama
Panama (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 17 JAN 2004 and was last updated on 15 AUG 2013.