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    photo of Morella pensylvanica   

 

NAME: Northern Bayberry

SPECIES / FAMILY:  Myrica Pensylvanica / Myricaceae

OTHER COMMON NAME(S): 

CONDITIONS: sun/partial shade
 

PARTS:

EDIBLE cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

TASTE

RAW/COOK

SEASON

All

 

 

 

 

Shoots

 

 

 

 

Leaves

bay leaf

DRY/COOK

Spring/Summer

Stalk/Stem

 

 

 

 

Buds

       

Flowers

 

 

 

 

Fruits

 

RAW/COOK

Fall

Pods

 

 

   

Seeds

 

 

 

 

Nuts

 

 

 

 

Roots

 

 

 

 

Bark

 

 

 

 

 

PORTION: small

 

COMMENT: Fruit - very little edible flesh and this is of poor quality. The leaves and fruit are used as a food flavouring in soups etc. A bay leaf substitute, imparting a delicate aroma and subtle flavour. The herb is removed before the food is served.

 

CAUTION: There is a report that some of the constituents of the wax might be carcinogenic.(1)

 

NUTRITION/MEDICINAL:  The root bark is astringent and emetic in large doses. A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of fevers and externally as a wash for itchy skin.(1)

 

LOOK-A-LIKES:  

 

POISONOUS LOOK-A-LIKES: 

 

OTHER USES: Wax. Dye.  The berries can be used to make bayberry wax candles. American colonists boiled the berries to extract the sweet-smelling wax, which they used to make clean-burning candles.(2) The wax is also used in making soaps. A green dye is obtained from the leaves.(1)

 

SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):

  1. http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Myrica+pennsylvanica
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrica_pensylvanica
  3. https://www.backyardforager.com/pennsylvania-bay-leaf-myrica-pensylvanica-northern-bayberry