Myrica cerifera is a small tree or large shrub native to North and Central America and the Caribbean. Its common names include southern wax myrtle, southern bayberry, candleberry, bayberry tree, and tallow shrub.
It is adaptable to many habitats, growing naturally in wetlands, near rivers and streams, sand dunes, fields, hillsides, pine barrens, and in both coniferous and mixed-broadleaf forests.
In nature, it ranges from Central America, northward into the southeastern and south-central United States. Wax Myrtle can be successfully cultivated as far north as the New York City area and southern Ohio Valley. It also grows in Bermuda and the Caribbean. In terms of succession, M. cerifera is often one of the first plants to colonise an area.
It sees uses both in the garden and for candlemaking, as well as a medicinal plant.