Myrica rubra

Myrica rubra, also called yangmei (Chinese: 杨梅; pinyin: yángméi; Cantonese: yeung4 mui4; Shanghainese: [jɑ̃.mɛ][tones?]), yamamomo (Japanese: ヤマモモ, "mountain peach"), Chinese bayberry, Japanese bayberry, red bayberry, yumberry, waxberry, or Chinese strawberry (and often mistranslated from Chinese as arbutus) is a subtropical tree grown for its sweet, crimson to dark purple-red, fruit.

Myrica rubra
Myrica rubra5.jpg
Myrica rubra in garden
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Myricaceae
Genus: Myrica
M. rubra
Binomial name
Myrica rubra

Morella rubra Lour.
Myrica rubra var. acuminata Nakai.


It is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree growing up to 10–20 m (33–66 ft) high, with smooth gray bark and a uniform spherical to hemispherical crown. It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. It tolerates poor acidic soils. The root system is 5–60 cm (2.0–23.6 in) deep, with no obvious taproot.

The fruit is spherical, 1.5–2.5 cm (0.6–1 in) in diameter, with a knobby surface. The surface color is typically a deep, brilliant red, but may vary from white to purple. The flesh color is similar to surface color, or somewhat lighter. The flesh is sweet and very tart. At the center is a single seed, with a diameter about half that of the whole fruit.


Myrica rubra is also called Morella rubra Lour., Myrica rubra var. acuminata Nakai.[1] In studies of germplasm, it was clearly distinguished from wax myrtle, and could be subdivided into two groups unrelated to the sex of the plant, but more so by the geographic region in China where the accession originated.[2][3] Among regions in China, accessions varied within regions, indicating extensive gene mixing.[2] Nearly 100 cultivars of M. rubra exist in China alone.[2] Zhejiang Province is a possible center of diversity for the plant in China.[3]

Distribution and habitatEdit

It is native to eastern Asia, mainly in south-central China where it has been grown for at least 2000 years.[4] Chinese cultivation is concentrated south of the Yangtze River, where it has considerable economic importance. Its niche is forests on mountain slopes and valleys at altitudes of 100–1,500 metres (330–4,920 ft).[1]


Yangmei is being commercialized in California by Calmei, a California corporation.[5] Yangmei trees are prolific producers, with a single tree yielding some 100 kilograms (220 lb) of fruit.[6] As of 2007, 865,000 acres were devoted to yangmei production in China – double the amount of acres utilized in apple production in the United States.[7]


The tree is used as ornaments for parks and streets. It is also a traditional tree used in composing classical East Asian gardens.


Some cultivars with large fruit, up to 4 centimetres (1.6 in) in diameter, have been developed. 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 huamei (Prunus mume with flavorings such as licorice or salty licorice). The juice has been commercialised under the brand name "Yumberry" under which name it is trademarked in the EU. In Yunnan Province in China, there are two main types of yangmei, a sour type used for making dried fruit and a sweet type used for juice and fresh eating.

Other uses include

Research and phytochemicalsEdit

Various species of Myrica have been studied scientifically for horticultural characteristics or phytochemicals implicated with health benefits. Dating to 1951, the horticultural literature includes studies on

Cultural significanceEdit

Archaeological and written evidence suggest that yangmei cultivation first took place in China over 2,000 years ago during the Han Dynasty.[6] Yangmei is mentioned throughout Chinese literature, including several appearances in Li Bai's poems.[14]

In Japan, it is the prefectural flower of Kōchi and the prefectural tree of Tokushima. The plant's name appears in many old Japanese poems.


  1. ^ a b "Myrica rubra". Flora of China. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Zhang, Shuiming; Gao, Zhongshan; Xu, Changjie; Chen, Kunsong; Wang, Guoyun; Zheng, Jintu; Lu, Ting (2009). "Genetic diversity of Chinese bayberry (Myrica rubra Sieb. et Zucc.) accessions revealed by amplified fragment length polymorphism". HortScience. 44 (2): 487–491. doi:10.21273/hortsci.44.2.487. ISSN 0018-5345.
  3. ^ a b Jia, Hui-min; Jiao, Yun; Wang, Guo-yun; Li, Ying-hui; Jia, Hui-juan; Wu, Hong-xia; Chai, Chun-yan; Dong, Xiao; Guo, Yanping; Zhang, Liping; Gao, Qi-kang; Chen, Wei; Song, Li-juan; van de Weg, Eric; Gao, Zhong-shan (19 May 2015). "Genetic diversity of male and female Chinese bayberry (Myrica rubra) populations and identification of sex-associated markers". BMC Genomics. 16 (1): 394. doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1602-5. ISSN 1471-2164. PMC 4436740. PMID 25986380.
  4. ^ Sun, C; Huang, H; Xu, C; Li, X; Chen, K (2013). "Biological activities of extracts from Chinese bayberry (Myrica rubra Sieb. Et Zucc.): A review". Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. 68 (2): 97–106. doi:10.1007/s11130-013-0349-x. PMID 23605674.
  5. ^ "Calmei". Calmei.
  6. ^ a b Joyce, Daryl; Tahir Khurshid; Shiming Liu; Graeme McGregor; Jianrong Li; Yeuming Jiang (December 2005). Red bayberry – a new and exciting crop for Australia?. Barton, Australian Capital Territory: Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. ISBN 978-1-74151-144-4. OCLC 223913003. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  7. ^ Karp, David (12 December 2007). "From China, Only in a Bottle, a Berry With an Alluring Name". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  8. ^ Vandenbosch KA, Torrey JG (November 1984). "Consequences of Sporangial Development for Nodule Function in Root Nodules of Comptonia peregrina and Myrica gale". Plant Physiology. 76 (3): 556–560. doi:10.1104/pp.76.3.556. PMC 1064330. PMID 16663881.
  9. ^ Huguet V, Batzli JM, Zimpfer JF, Normand P, Dawson JO, Fernandez MP (May 2001). "Diversity and Specificity of Frankia Strains in Nodules of Sympatric Myrica gale, Alnus incana, and Shepherdia canadensis Determined by rrs Gene Polymorphism". Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 67 (5): 2116–2122. doi:10.1128/AEM.67.5.2116-2122.2001. PMC 92844. PMID 11319089.
  10. ^ Huguet V, Mergeay M, Cervantes E, Fernandez MP (October 2004). "Diversity of Frankia strains associated to Myrica gale in Western Europe: impact of host plant (Myrica vs. Alnus) and of edaphic factors". Environmental Microbiology. 6 (10): 1032–1041. doi:10.1111/j.1462-2920.2004.00625.x. PMID 15344928.
  11. ^ Pozuelo González JM, Gutiérrez Mañero FJ, Llinares Pinel F, Bermúdez de Castro F (April 1992). "[Density and activity of microorganisms of the carbon cycle under the canopy of Myrica gale L.]". Microbiología (in Spanish). 8 (1): 32–38. PMID 1605919.
  12. ^ Su Z, Wu D, Chen B (January 2003). "[Niche characteristics of dominant populations in natural forest in north Guangdong]". Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao: Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology (in Chinese). 14 (1): 25–29. PMID 12722433.
  13. ^ Sogo A, Tobe H (January 2006). "Mode of Pollen-Tube Growth in Pistils of Myrica rubra (Myricaceae): A Comparison with Related Families". Annals of Botany. 97 (1): 71–77. doi:10.1093/aob/mcj015. PMC 2803377. PMID 16291781.
  14. ^ Wende, Meng Meng. "Ancient and Modern Yangmei Poems". Douban. Retrieved 14 September 2018.

External linksEdit