Morella rubra
Common name: 
Red Bayberry
Chinese Bayberry
Japanese Bayberry
mor-EL-a RU-bra
Myrica rubra
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf evergreen tree, generally to 15-30 ft (~5-10 m) high, rounded shape.  Leaves alternate, simple, leaf blade cuneate-obovate or narrowly elliptic-obovate, 5-14 × 1-4 cm, leathery, glabrous, base wedge-shaped (cuneate), apex obtuse to acute, margin entire or serrate in upper 1/2, upper suface dark green, lower pale green and sparsely to moderately golden glandular.  Dioecious-- male and female flowers on separate plants; male catkins (spikes) simple or inconspicuously branched, solitary or sometimes few together in leaf axils, 1-3 cm long, anthers dark red, ellipsoid; female catkins (spikes) solitary in leaf axils, 0.5-1.5 cm, many flowered.  Fruit a drupe, dark red or purple-red at maturity, globose, 1-1.5 cm in diameter, to 3 cm when cultivated, sweet, edible.
  • Sun, or partial shade, best in moist soils
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 9 (20-30°F)     Native to eastern Asia, China, Japan, Korea, Philippines; found in warm coastal areas.
  • Like many plants in the genus Myrica, Red Bayberry has been placed, by some taxonomists, in the genus Morella, hence Morella rubra.  This is the accepted designation in the ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System).  However, the WFO  Plant List (, as of 2023, gives this latter name only as a synonym for Myrica rubra.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, row of trees

    plant habit, row of trees

  • leaves and male catkins

    leaves and male catkins

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark