Angiosperms (Flowering Plants) • Earth.com

California wax myrtle

(Morella californica)

galery
en

Description

Morella californica (Cham. & Schltdl.) Wilbur) is an evergreen shrub or small tree native to the Pacific Ocean coast of North America from Vancouver Island south to California as far south as the Long Beach area. It grows to 2–10 m tall, and has serrated, sticky green leaves 4–13 cm long and 0.7–3 cm broad, which emit a spicy scent on warm days. The flower's inflorescence is arranged in a spike 0.6–3 cm long, in range of colors from green to red. The fruit is a wrinkled purple berry 4-6.5 mm diameter, with a waxy coating, hence the common name wax myrtle. This species has root nodules containing nitrogen-fixing microorganisms, allowing it to grow in relatively poor soils. Myrica is a genus of about 35-50 species of small trees and shrubs in the family Myricaceae, order Fagales. The genus has a wide distribution, including Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America, and missing only from Australia. Some botanists split the genus into two genera on the basis of the catkin and fruit structure, restricting Myrica to a few species, and treating the others in Morella.

Taxonomic tree:

Domain:
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order:Fagales
Family:Myricaceae
Genus:Morella
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