We fell in love with this California Wax Myrtle a few years ago when we were still in our rental house and planting our practice native garden. It’s a beautiful evergreen with glossy leaves and while it doesn’t get flashy flowers or fruits you can eat it does get these little waxy nutlets that are cherished by many birds, including Cedar Waxwings. I have never seen a Waxwing in person…not yet…but I so want to. At the Yerba Buena nursery there is an huge old Wax Myrtle next to the pond and you can stand under it and hear all the little tapping biting sounds of the birds feasting.

At the rental house we bought one Wax Myrtle and planted it in the little sideyard where we getting acquainted with native plants. We planted it against what was affectionately called the hell wall because it was the reflected heat all summer long. It died. Quickly even. No birds for me.

When we bought this house we knew we wanted to find a place for a Wax Myrtle. Turns out I found a place for seven of them along a fence line. I’m a little wiser now and planted them in the once section of the backyard that is getting any irrigation. They are still small but someday I hope they will be filled with birds.



The brainstorm
glossy green
hedge or tree
nitrogen fixing
improves soil
habitat improving
not pretty flowers
berries for birds
waxy nutlets
waxwings decorate the tree
decorated with birds
hidden in the branches
hidden in the tree
noisy birds
evergreen ever full of birds
birds hide, divide the berries
noisy birds hidden
behind evergreen branches
waxwings hide behind
waxwings feast behind
evergreen branches
evergreen leaves
the thicket of evergreen
quivering glossy green leaves

Wax Myrtle
waxwings feast behind
quivering glossy green leaves
worth the water? yes

@copyright Susan Taylor Brown
April 15, 2009