Fruits of waxmyrtle | Photo credit: Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
Waxmyrtle is also known as southern bayberry or candleberry because early American colonists used the fruit's pale blue, waxy covering to make fragrant bayberry candles. This custom is still carried out today by crafts people here and in other countries.
The tree's distinctive, fragrant scent comes from volatile oils contained in tiny glands on the leaves. These oils cause waxmyrtle to ignite in a flash in a fire - making wax myrtle a very flammable plant.