Myrica californica

Chamisso

Linnaea 6: 535. 1831.

Common names: Pacific bayberry California wax-myrtle
Endemic
Synonyms: Gale californica (Chamisso) Greene
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 3.

Shrubs or small trees, evergreen, 2-10 m. Branchlets green when young, becoming redbrown, eventually black to gray with age, densely gland-dotted, glands colorless to black, pilose to villous, ultimately glabrous. Leaf-blade fragrant when crushed, narrowly elliptic to elliptic-oblanceolate, 4-13 × 0.7-3.1 cm, sometimes membranous, more commonly leathery, base cuneate-attenuate, margins variable, from nearly entire (less common) to remotely and coarsely serrate entire length of blade, apex acute; surfaces abaxially pale green, adaxially dark green, shiny, both surfaces gland-dotted; glands colorless to black, considerably more dense abaxially, midrib pilose to glabrate adaxially. Inflorescences: staminate 0.6-1.7 (-2.5) cm; bisexual 0.6-1.9 (-3) cm; flowers bisexual, staminate, or pistillate within any 1 spike. Staminate flowers: bract of flower shorter than staminal column, margins opaque and densely ciliate; stamens (2-) 6-12 (-22). Pistillate and bisexual flowers: bracteoles usually persistent in fruit, 4-6, not accrescent or adnate to fruit wall, margins ciliate; stamens 1-5, in bisexual flowers hypogynous, free or often adnate to ovary, especially near styles; ovary ± villous, especially at apex. Fruits globose-ellipsoid, 4-6.5 mm; fruit wall glabrate to sparsely villous, obscured by enlarged, glabrous protuberances, with or without light to very heavy coat of white wax.


Phenology: Flowering spring–early summer, fruiting summer–early fall.
Habitat: Coastal conifer forests, bogs, sand dunes, stream banks, wet meadows, marshes, low, moist hillsides
Elevation: 0-1000 m

Distribution

V3 697-distribution-map.gif

B.C., Calif., Oreg., Wash.

Discussion

On any one branchlet, staminate inflorescences are borne proximal to bisexual inflorescences; the most distal inflorescences may be completely pistillate.

It is quite common for two or three pistillate or bisexual flowers to occur per bract and for the ovaries to fuse to form a syncarp. In the fruiting condition this can usually be detected by counting the number of style branches (two per ovary, therefore four for a syncarp derived from two fused ovaries). Many specimens apparently do not produce any wax, in which case the fruits appear purple-black rather than white.

Selected References

None.

Lower Taxa

None.

"entire" is not a number.

... more about "Myrica californica"
dorsifixed +
Allan J. Bornstein +
Chamisso +
cuneate-attenuate +
persistent +
pubescent +  and glabrous +
accrescent +
not accrescent +
gland-dotted +
pubescent +  and glabrous +
Pacific bayberry +  and California wax-myrtle +
planoconvex +
B.C. +, Calif. +, Oreg. +  and Wash. +
0-1000 m +
connate +  and distinct +
pistillate +  and staminate +
hypogynous +
nutlike +  and drupaceous +
4 (?) +  and 6 (?) +
globose-ellipsoid +
0.4 cm4 mm <br />0.004 m <br /> (0.65 cm6.5 mm <br />0.0065 m <br />) +
glabrate +  and sparsely villous +
colorless +  and black +
glabrous;pilose;villous +
multicellular +  and peltate +
Coastal conifer forests, bogs, sand dunes, stream banks, wet meadows, marshes, low, moist hillsides +
1.9 cm19 mm <br />0.019 m <br /> (3 cm30 mm <br />0.03 m <br />) +
ellipsoid;short-cylindric or ovoid +
0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br /> (1.9 cm19 mm <br />0.019 m <br />) +
4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 m <br /> (13 cm130 mm <br />0.13 m <br />) +
leathery +  and membranous +
0.7 cm7 mm <br />0.007 m <br /> (3.1 cm31 mm <br />0.031 m <br />) +
deciduous +  and persistent +
pinnatifid +
glabrous +  and pubescent +
serrate-denticulate +  and entire +
pilose +  and glabrate +
persistent +
rudimentary +
accrescent +
Flowering spring–early summer, fruiting summer–early fall. +
adnate +  and free +
shorter or longer +
epigynous +  and hypogynous +
gland-dotted +, dark green +  and pale green +
Gale californica +
Myrica californica +
species +
tree +  and shrub +