Plant Detail

Myrica gale

* Common Name:

sweet gale, bayberry, bog myrtle, English bog myrtle, Dutch myrtle

* Genus:

Myrica

* Species:

gale

Subspecies:

* Family (scientific):

Myricaceae

* Family (common):

Bayberry

Synonyms :

Gale palustris, Myrica gale var. subarctica, Myrica gale var. subglabra, Myrica gale var. tomentosa

* Distribution in Canada:

British Columbia
Alberta
Saskatchewan
Manitoba
Ontario
Quebec
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
P.E.I.
Newfoundland
Yukon
N.W.T.
Nunavut

 

Photographer: Bill Moses.

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* denotes fields that are currently complete in the database. The other information is not yet complete.

Habitat

Ecozone(s):

Arctic Cordillera
Taiga Plains
Taiga Shield
Boreal Shield
Atlantic Maritime
Mixedwood Plains
Boreal Plains
Boreal Cordillera
Pacific Maritime
Hudson Plains

Natural Habitat(s):

Riparian (edge)
Swamp/Marsh (nutrient rich)

Lakeshores

Habitat Garden(s):

Pond Edge/Wetland Garden

Erosion Control?

Characteristics
 
Growing Conditions

* Plant Type:

Shrub

Moisture Requirements: Moist, Wet

Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade

Soil Requirements: Loam, Humus Enriched (forest floor)

Temperature Zone: 1

Evergreen?

No

Average Height:

60 to 150 cm

Tolerances:

Flower Info
 
Fruit/Seed Info

Showy flowers?

No

Showy fruit/seeds?

No

Bloom time:

May to May

Edible for humans?

No

Flower Colour(s):

Yellow, Green/Brown

Fruit/Seed Colour(s):

Miscellaneous
 
Uses

Fragrant Flowers?

No

Urban Oasis, Stewards in the City, and Eco Superior are specific Evergreen programs that some plants are used in.

Fragrant Foliage?

Yes

Program & Other Uses:

Crafts
Dyes
Culinary

Fall colours?

No

Distinctive bark?

No

Poisonous to humans?

Yes

Thorns or prickles?

No

Attracts wildlife?

Birds

Larval host for:

Provincial tree/flower?

Plant Watch species?

No

Interesting Tidbits
 
References

Distinguished from other bog shrubs by its bluegreen leaf color, and unique leaf shape. Leaves are toothed only at the end, which is rounded and wider than the leaf base.

Leaves dried to perfume linen, etc., their odor being very fragrant.

Catkins or cones, boiled in water, give a scum beeswax, used to make candles.

Bark used to tan calfskins; if gathered in autumn, will dye wool a good yellow colour and is used for this purpose in Sweden and Wales.

The Swedes use it in strong decoction to kill insects, vermin and to cure the itch.
The dried berries are put into broth and used as spice.

Should not be eaten by pregnant women, as it is an abortifacient. (Plants for a Future)

USDA PLANTS Database

NatureServe

Wetland Plants of Ontario
Steven Newmaster, Allan Harris and Linda Kershaw
Lone Pine Publishing
1997
ISBN: 1-55105-059-5

Wildflowers of Algonquin Provincial Park
Dan Strickland and John LeVay
The Friends of Algonquin Park
1993
0-921709-90-0

Naturescape British Columbia. Native plant and animal booklet, Georgia Basin
ISBN 0-7726-2639-1



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