Wax Myrtle is an amazingly versatile evergreen shrub or small tree which is such a great wildlife plant that it could be useful for increasing the pollinators and birds in your yard. Its foliage is very fragrant, and evergreen, and the blue berries are attractive to people as well as to a whole range of birds. When birds digest the seeds, the wax is removed, so that the seeds that are thereby spread are able to germinate. This plant is also the larval host plant for Banded Hairstreak and Red Banded Hairstreak butterflies and the Polyphemus Moth, and other insects that keep a garden healthy. It is popular with landscapers because of its amazing tolerance of soil moisture variations from very dry to very wet (check out its Natural Distribution) its evergreen habit, and ease of cultivation. Wax Myrtle prunes well and is easy to maintain. This shrub is also tolerant of high winds and salt spray, and may be grown in seaside areas. It fixes atmospheric nitrogen which helps it survive in poorI soils. It is probably most often used mixed with other shrubs for hedges and privacy screens, taking advantage of a tendency to sucker. Wax Myrtle in nature occurs from the Florida Keys north to southern New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware; west to eastern Texas, southeast Oklahoma, and central Arkansas. It is first cousin to the Bayberry (Myrica pennsylvanica) whose range is more northerly, and with whom it hybridizes. Bayberry serves better in zones colder than zone 6. Wax Myrtle, by contrast, is the southern heat-loving evergreen species. Candles have historically been made from the wax on the berries of both species. Wax Myrtle was the Georgia Native Plant Society’s Plant of the Year in 2002.