The Myrica Rubra aka the Bayberry Tree is an interesting looking fruit from China.
The Chinese have been growing this attractive subtropical tree for 2,000 yrs. The fruit is about 1 inch in diameter, with a round, knobby surface that varies form red to purple. The biggest cultivar, DongKui, may get much bigger than that, up to 52 grams in weight. The pulp is similar in color with a sweet and tart flavor. Each fruit has a single seed is about 10% of the fruit much like a cherry. The Chinese have been using the seeds, leaves and roots for medicinal purposes for centuries. The bark has also been used as a yellow dye. The fruit can also be canned, dried, juiced and made into wine. Also known as Yumberry. This fruit has seen a dramatic increase in popularity over the last decade especially in Australia.
From my research this plant is somewhat difficult to grow and ship. Which makes me want it even more. The harder or more rare a fruit is the more I want it.
There’s mixed reviews on whether they need cold stratification or if they will germinate with just bottom heat. There have been a small handful of growers in California that have successfullly germinated and grown the plant.
It requires a somewhat lower PH Soil and is best planted in September so it can be naturally cold stratified and will hopefully sprout in the coming spring.
The fruit reminds me of our strawberry tree arbutus unedo but it’s actually in it’s own category of fruits. Arbutus can be a bit gritty and are no better than the fruiting dogwood Kousa.
Myrica rubra appears to be a superb tasting fruit you can tell by how much love and care they get from the folks involved their cultivation in China.
I’ve managed to get some seeds and will split the seeds in half. One half I will try to germinate right away and will stay in my warm house, while the other I will stick into some most coco coir and will live in my fridge for a couple of months to cold stratify.
Update: 8/8/16 We have a single sprout from about 50 seeds! Almost 3 months to germinate. Hopefully a few others will follow suite and germinate as well. It’s time to take the ones from the fridge out to see if they would grow as well.
Bayberry seed The Myrica Rubra aka the Bayberry Tree is an interesting looking fruit from China. The Chinese have been growing this attractive subtropical tree for 2,000 yrs. The fruit is