Pacific wax myrtle

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by VanIsl, Oct 25, 2006.

  1. VanIsl

    VanIsl Member

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    Victoria,BC, Canada
    Hi,

    I am considering planting Pacific wax myrtle (Myrica californica) in a garden located on southern Vancouver Island. From what I have read to date, this location is slightly beyond the northern limit of the natural range of this species. In addition, this species does not tolerate sub-freezing temperatures very well, and can be damaged or killed, depending on how cold it gets and for how long. Does anyone have experience growing this plant in or around Victoria, or Vancouver? I would be curious to know how well your plants have done, since freezing temperatures are rare, but not unheard of in Victoria. Thanks,

    Paul
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Actually it grows wild on Vancouver Island. And natural ranges of plants reflect weather patterns over hundreds or even thousands of years, as well as other factors like occurrence of fire. Pacific wax myrtle will grow fine there.
     
  3. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    I have seen it in the wild near Tofino on Clayquot Sound; I would think that it would thrive in the Victoria area.
     
  4. VanIsl

    VanIsl Member

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    Thank you both for your replies. I think this species should be a good alternative to english laurel, which seems to be everywhere in Victoria. I have found a couple of nurseries that can supply this plant. Cheers,

    Paul
     
  5. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    For what it's worth, here's a pic showing some leaf detail from mine in Lantzville, just north of Nanaimo.
    Cheers, LPN.
     

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  6. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    gulf island, bc, canada
    Anyone growing this north of Parksville? Thinking about planting a hedge of it, but I am not assured by the oft-repeated fact that it is 'native to coastal B.C.' as the E-flora database lists the only known 'native' occurrences on the outer coast, around Tofino, which has a climate uniquely milder than most of the settled parts of coastal B.C. Still not convinced it will survive occasional winter lows here on the inner coast, would welcome evidence to the contrary.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Again, natural distributions reflect multiple factors sometimes dating back thousands of years. Look at existing cultivation patterns to get an idea of the potential, rather than natural distribution. Down here Pacific wax myrtle is planted all over the place. Of course, some cold damage is possible particularly where a site is many miles inland. Nevertheless, there are (as of some years ago) established plantings at interchanges along Interstate 5 in the Willamette Valley, where record lows are subzero (F).
     
  8. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks Ron--missed your above bit about natural distribution (good point). Seems to be worth trying.
     

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