West Highland Flora

Bog Myrtle


Myrica gale

 

Myrica gale

Photo Carl Farmer
16 Sep 2001 Broadford, Skye

Common on wet ground, especially on peat.  Can form extensive stands on moors.

Bushes c 50-150 cm tall.  Leaves c 2-6 cm.  Male catkins c 10-30 mm long, female ones c 5-10 mm.

ID: Leaves and twigs spotted with yellow glands.  Twigs grow nearly vertical, starting reddish and becoming darker brown with age.  Leaves have a gum-like scent when crushed.

Other features: Catkins appear in April.  Plants are usually all-male or all-female, but may change sex from year to year.  Female flowers each have 2 red styles, male have 4 red stamens which quickly disintegrate to release clouds of golden pollen.  Occasionally hermaphrodite flowers occur.

 

 

Myrica gale

Photo Carl Farmer
9 May 2006 Rigg, Skye
Whole spray of fls c 12 cm across

Male plant 

  Myrica gale

Photo Carl Farmer
9 May 2006 Rigg, Skye
Middle stem tip to its lowest red flower c 2.5 cm

Female plant 

 

Myrica gale

Photo Carl Farmer
9 May 2006 Rigg, Skye

Male catkins

  Myrica gale

Photo Carl Farmer
9 May 2006 Rigg, Skye

Female catkins

 

Myrica gale

Photo Carl Farmer
16 Feb 2003 Portree, Skye
Buds c 8x3.5 mm

Male catkins in bud

 

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