Morella Rubra, Myrica Rubra, Chinese Bayberry, Yang Mei, Yumberry, Yamamoto, 10-100 seeds
Myrica rubra, also called yangmei, yamamomo, Chinese bayberry, Japanese bayberry, red bayberry, yumberry, waxberry, or Chinese strawberry is a subtropical tree grown for its fruit.
Myrica rubra is an evergreen tree that grows to a height of up to 10–20 m (33–66 ft) meters high, with smooth gray bark and a uniform spherical to hemispherical crown. Leaves are leathery, bare, elliptic-obovate to oval lanceolate.
The species is dioecious. Two trees are needed to produce fruit, both male and female. On extremely rare occasions a tree with both male and female flowers occurs.
The flowering period extends from March to April in China, with fruits developing from May to June. The fruit is spherical, typically 1.5–2.5 cm (0.6–1 in) in diameter, with diameters up to 3 centimeters, a knobby surface. The surface is a thick-skinned, typically a crimson red, but may vary from white to purple, with similar or somewhat lighter flesh color. At the center is a single seed, with a diameter about half that of the whole fruit. The flesh is sweet and very tart.
They have been promoted as a super-fruit as they have a high vitamin and mineral content. Thiamin, carotene, riboflavin, Vitamins C and E are all found in abundance with waxberry fruit.
Besides fresh consumption, the fruits may be dried, canned, soaked in baijiu (Chinese liquor), or fermented into alcoholic beverages, such as wine, beer, or cocktails. Dried fruits are often prepared in the manner of dry huame.
Sowing time: autumn
Germination temperature: +20°C
Pre-Treatment. Scarification will help the seeds to absorb moisture and increase germination rate. Nick the seeds by using a sharp knife or scrape with sandpaper or file avoiding damaging the embryo.
Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours.
Myrica rubra seeds require cold stratification to break the seed’s dormancy and allow germination to occur. Place the seeds on a moist paper towel and put inside a plastic bag or container, store in the refrigerator for 2-3 month. The seeds should be inspected every few weeks. At the first sign of swelling, cracking and sprouting the seeds should be moved to room temperature (+20°C or 70 F). Germination will occur over a period of 150 days.
In the fall, the seeds can be sown in outdoor beds in rows 20-30 centimetres (8-12 inches) apart covered with 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) of soil. Cover the beds with straw mulch until after late spring frosts.
Sowing mix: soil + sand + peat 1:1:1 mixture is recommended.
Bayberry needs acidic soil – pH between 4 and 5. Low pH is not essential for germination but once the seedlings are established they need acidic soil to thrive.
Water. It requires a fairly high rainfall in its native regions and common sense dictates that it also needs ample watering in areas that can not meet this criteria. The period around fruit development, as with all fruits in particular needs to be kept well watered.
Fertilizer is not really much of an issue, it can survive in some pretty poor soils. Wax berry trees are also believed to function in a similar fashion to beans/Legumes as they will fix nitrogen in the soil via a slightly different mechanism.
Temperatures from slightly over 38°C (100 F) to as low as -4°C (25 F) are tolerable. Optimal temperatures around 20°C (65 – 70 F) are best.
Note from the seller.
Seeds have quite tricky germination behavior. Some of my seeds after soaking in water for 14 days I planted in pots with sowing mix compost+sand somewhere in October. Watered regularly in autumn and only when remembered in winter. There was no sign of germination. I was blaming on bad seeds, and didn't throw them away just because couldn't find time. The following February, they started to sprout! Day outdoor temperature was betweet +15-+19C.
Conclusion. You may not need to stratify the seeds in the fridge, just sow them directly in beds or pots in October outdoor if winter in your region have low temperatures (in Malta the low was about +6C night and +11-15C during the day).
Or else store the moisten seeds in the fridge and sow in January.
Seeds that were in the fridge since autumn did not germinate, which confirms that for successful germination they need to be shifted to higher temperatures.
If you have your own way germinating Morella Rubra please share it with me.
Myrica rubra seeds are not eligible for refund due to long germination time. Some experience required for succesful germination.