Small bayberry (Morella caroliniensis) Seeds

$ 4.75

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An excellent native shrub for poor, sandy or gravelly soils. In the spring, small bright yellow-green flowers attract early spring pollinators. Plants are either male or female and the latter produce small gray, waxy berries in the fall that are relished by birds. Foliage is light green and fragrant and can be used like bay leaves in cooking. Wax from the fruits was traditionally used in candles. The shrub makes a nice low hedge on its own or mixed with wild rose and sweet fern. Thrives in tough urban, roadside, and seaside environments. Can be cut back to the ground every spring to be used as a ground cover.

Native to Maine: Yes

Growing conditions: Sun to part shade in dry soil

Grows up to: 3-5'

Blooms: In early spring

Natural habitat: Dry, sandy beaches, roadsides, and pine barrens

Seeds per packet: 20

Germination Code(s): B
These seeds require a cold period to germinate - a minimum of 90 days below 40°F in moist soil (or sand or vermiculite). Sow outdoors in pots, on the soil surface and leave uncovered, November through mid-February. This species is challenging to grow, and a great species for more experienced seed-sowers.

Each seed package carries a specific germination code along with the plant description. These codes indicate specific sowing instructions.

  • A Seeds can be sown outdoors in fall or early spring.
  • B Seeds need a winter or cold period to germinate. Sow outdoors in fall or winter.
  • C Seeds need light to germinate; sow on soil surface and leave uncovered.
  • D Seeds need alternating cycles of warm-to-cold-to-warm to germinate. They can be sown either outdoors in spring or summer and will germinate the following year or in a flat in a warm place for 3 months, then moved to a refrigerator for 2 months, then moved outside in the early summer warmth.
  • E Seeds can not be allowed to dry out. Sow immediately.
  • F Seeds take two years to germinate. Sow outside in the fall or winter and look for germination in the second spring. A shady location prevents the flats from rapid drying and reduces weeding
  • G Large seeds should be soaked overnight in water.
  • FERN: Sow spores in a warm bright location in a sealed container and keep moist. Directions enclosed with package. Challenging.

If you have specific questions about seeds and germination guidelines please contact us at

All seeds can be sown and placed outdoors in fall or winter bypassing the need for an artificial indoor cold stratification (refrigerator) required for some species when planted in spring. This is the simplest method. See How to Grow Natives From Seed for detailed instructions.