Saw this neat shrub in Lowe's parking lot of all places. Does anyone know what it is? Thanks
Looks like a dying rhododendron, Ritchie, but the berries look like it may be bayberry. Not happy whatever it is.
This post was edited by corunum on Sat, Dec 21, 13 at 12:33
Agreed, it's not doing well.
Looks like rhododendron leaves, and I agree that they are looking poorly. I think there is a variety that also produces white berries but I don't know its name. Could this be a one that grows in warmer climates?
Definitely not Rhododendron, since that produces dry brown capsules as opposed to berries. I think Jane got it with her suggestion of bayberry which has leaves that are a bit similar. Doing a scratch and sniff test will confirm since bayberry has a distinctive spicy odor.
Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) is tolerant of salt, which may be why it was planted in a parking lot, but it also is tolerant of wet soils which may be why it looks so unhappy; it may have gotten too dry at some point. Bayberries have male and female plants, so if you want berries, you need at least one male mixed in with females. The waxy berries were used to create candles in colonial times, but it takes a lot of them. I can't imagine picking enough bayberries to get wax for even one candle since the berries are boiled to separate off the thin layer of wax that gives them the whitish color.
I believe it is bayberry. And they are sort of semi-evergreen or decidious. That is probably why some of the leaves look brown. It could be perfectly healthy and is just losing some of its leaves (as long as that pic was taken recently and not last summer!).
I agree with Rockman - it looks like a reasonably happy bayberry losing some of its leaves. I have these, although mine are volunteers and seem to be all male (or, I guess, all female).
Never heard of a rhody with berries - that seems like an impossibility, at least if we're talking about botanical classifications.
+1 for bayberry. Mine usually had many, if not all, their leaves turn brown and drop most years, but some years they were semi-evergreen.