Myrica Gale (Sweetgale)


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Plant Description: Sweetgale is a low-growing, deciduous, bushy shrub with glossy, dark-green to grayish foliage. Leaves are simple and alternate with the blades widest above the middle and tips rounded with several pairs of shallow, rounded teeth. Leaves are sweet-scented. Inconspicuous flowers are borne in catkins - male and female flowers are mostly borne separately on different plants (dioecious) but sometimes on the same plant (monoecious). 

Sweetgale's aromatic fruits are edible and are used either fresh or dried. These fruits grow in a compact cluster 1/3 to 1/2 inch long. They have flattened, egg-shaped nutlets, each about 1/8 inch long with a stubby beak. *NEVER CONSUME PLANTS WITHOUT PROPER ID*

  • Height: 2-6ft
  • Width: 2-5ft
  • Watering needs: regular
  • Sun needs: full sun to part shade
  • Soil needs: moist to wet
  • Bloom Time: July-September  

Landscape Use and Ecological Function: This native plant is distributed throughout the United States and Canada. In the wild, it can usually be found in bogs or near pond shores. We recommend growing Sweetgale in rain gardens. It has the ability to fix nitrogen, increasing the fertility of soil. 

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