Morella californica Pacific wax myrtle
Although wax myrtle can grow in tree form, those on campus were clearly intended to be managed as broad, dense shrubs. The lanceolate leaves are finely toothed, 2 inches or more in length, glossy green above and pale below.
One remains of a planting of eight a few feet north of Littlefield Center.
The fruits occur in clusters of ¼-inch dark purple nuts with a waxy bloom. The nearest points where wax myrtle is native are Big Basin and the vicinity of Santa Cruz.
Name derivation: Morella – probably a diminutive of Morus, the mulberry; Myrica – from myrike, the Greek name for Tamarix; californica – of California.
About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. Genus name updated to Morella from Myrica (Jan 2018, SP). Removals of most of the shrubs noted, minor edits; all locations up to date (Jun 2022, SP).