sweetgale Myricaceae Myrica
gale L. symbol: MYGA
Leaf: Alternate, simple, narrow obovate, toothed near tip, thin, 1 to 3 inches long, golden resin drops present on both surfaces but particularly on lower surface, dark green above, lighter below, fragrant.
Flower: Species is dioecious; yellow-green short catkins appearing in leaf axils in early summer.
Fruit: Small, brown, pointed nut occurring in tight clusters in the leaf axils, ripen in mid-summer.
Twig: Slender, dark brown, resin dots may be present, small pointed buds, false end bud.
Bark: Reddish brown with prominent lighter lenticels, turns grayish brown with age.
Form: A low growing, bushy shrub reaching up to 6 feet tall.
Looks like: northern bayberry
Additional Range Information: Myrica gale is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting sweetgale.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson