Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial.
bayberry, common name for the Myricaceae, a family of trees and shrubs with aromatic foliage, found chiefly in temperate and subtropical regions. The waxy gray “berries” of the North American wild or cultivated bayberry shrubs (chiefly Myrica cerifera) are used to make fragrant bayberry candles, scented soap, and sealing wax; bayberry is also called candleberry and wax myrtle. Sweet gale (M. gale), a bog plant, yields tannic acid. Sweet fern (Comptonia peregrina) is a North American shrub found chiefly in the E United States and cultivated elsewhere in dry, sandy areas. Its foliage is used for medicines and tea. Bayberry is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Myricales.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
Many types. Small tree/ Bush up to 12 ft.(4m) Thin oval waxy pointy leaves with hairy fruits (when young) that become wax-coated balls that cluster along the branch. Depending on type, fruit color can be blue, purple, black, red, white, green. Leaves fan out like helicopter blades. Wax used for candles, but not edible. Stays green year round. Leaves, roots and bark are used for increasing vitality of the whole body, improving circulation, gas, bowel and liver problems, ulcers, colds, illness, astringent, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, anti-bacterial, immune booster. Leaves used for seasoning like bay leaves. Berries edible, can be ground like pepper. Smell of the leaves keeps mosquitos away. Tea used as vaginal douche for infections, gargle for sore throats and tonsillitis.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
Pimenta acris. A West Indian tree related to the allspice; a source of bay oil. Also known as bay-rum tree; Jamaica bayberry; wild cinnamon.
Any tree of the genus Myrica.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. any of several North American aromatic shrubs or small trees of the genus Myrica, that bear grey waxy berries: family Myricaceae
2. a tropical American myrtaceous tree, Pimenta racemosa, that yields an oil used in making bay rum
3. the fruit of any of these plants
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005