Pacific wax myrtle (Morella californica)

Adaptability is a valuable skill to have in this day and age. The Pacific wax myrtle is an expert in adaptability and could teach those of us who want to improve in this area a few important tips. This evergreen shrub is native to the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington, growing from 10-30 feet tall and 10-12 feet wide. Pacific wax myrtles flourish along streams and sand dunes in this region thanks to their ability to adapt to a variety of environments. They can thrive in wet soil, but are also drought tolerant and can grow in sandy, loamy, or clay soil. The Pacific wax myrtle also transfers nitrogen and other nutrients to plants in its vicinity and is often used in habitat restoration for this reason.

The leaves of the Pacific wax myrtle are a bright, glossy green with black dots. The plant’s small purple berries ripen during autumn and fall to the ground in early winter, attracting birds such as flickers, finches, and robins. The berries are coated with white wax that can be extracted from the fruit and made into scented candles and soap.

Next time you find yourself in a challenging situation, think about the Pacific wax myrtle and its unique ability to thrive in a wide range of environments. It may provide just the inspiration you need to succeed in the task you want to accomplish.

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