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Chinese Bayberry (Myrica rubra)

M. nagi. non Thunb.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Chinese Bayberry
Myrica rubra

A yellow dye is obtained from the plant[174]. (The part of the plant is not specified).

  • Medicinal Use

    Astringent, carminative, vulnerary[174, 178].

    The stem bark is used as a wash in the treatment of arsenic poisoning, skin diseases, wounds and ulcers[218].

    The fruit is carminative, pectoral and stomachic[218].

    The seed is used in the treatment of sweaty feet[218].

    The plant is used in the treatment of cholera, heart ailments and stomach diseases[218].

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw or cooked[1, 105]. Succulent and aromatic[82], it has an agreeable sub-acid taste[183]. Juicy, sweetish and sour according to another report[174]. The fruit soon rots so it is difficult to grow commercially because of the problems of getting it to market in good condition[174]. The fruit is up to 25mm in diameter[200].

    The seed is said to be edible[61, 177, 183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, there is a report for some members of this genus that some of the constituents of the wax might be carcinogenic[222].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Barely cover the seed and keep it moist. Stored seed germinates more freely if given a 3 month cold stratification and then sown in a cold frame. Germination is usually good[78]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in the cold frame for the first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer[K]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Pot up and overwinter in a cold frame. Fair to good percentage[78]. Cuttings of mature wood in November/December in a frame. Layering in spring[200]. Division of suckers in the dormant season. Plant them out direct into their permanent positions.
Prefers a moist soil. Grows well in an open position in a well-drained soil in sun or light shade[200]. Thrives in any ordinary garden soil[11]. Prefers a lime-free loamy or peaty soil[1]. Not very hardy in Britain, it succeeds outdoors in the milder areas of the country according to one report[1], whilst another says that it only succeeds in zone 10 and does not tolerate frosts[200]. Plants succeed outdoors in Japan as far north as Tokyo, but it is difficult to get them to fruit there[174].. This plant has been recommended for improvement by selection and breeding for its edible fruit. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Many species in this genus have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].
E. Asia – China, Japan.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.