Myrica gale

Sweet Gale

Plant Type:


Myrica gale - An attractive, under-utilized shrub of merit. The handsome long tongues of leaves are blue-green on tawny stems within the outline of a low rounded / mounded shrub. You'll know why one of its common names is Sweet Gale if you crush the foliage - very fragrant and delightful. Also known as Bog Myrtle this fine, under-utilized shrub will form a handsome mass planting in any constantly moist to wet soil. It would be well-used as a colonizer at pond's edge where sight lines may be important. It's a natural bug repellent and has several culinary possibilities one of which is that the dried berries are used as spice. Natives from Eastern Canada used this medicinally for fever, bronchial issues, stomach aches and liver problems. It should never be used by anyone who is pregnant Myrica gale is also an abortifacient. Prefers part to full sun exposure. Revels in wet soils where it is a nitrogen-fixer. Sweet Gale even tolerates brackish waters. Myrica gale is circumpolar. In the New World it is native to all of Canada, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and all of New England. Established potted multi-stemmed shrub from cutting.

An interesting piece of information shared by William G. (NJ). William is utilizing Myrica gale in gruit - aka grut and gruyt. Gruit is an mix of various bitter plants used to flavor beer prior to the broader use of hops in brewing. Though gruit is historically a region in the Netherlands, Belgium and western Germany the word is now diffused to generally mean a beer with herbal seasoning from bitter herbs such as Myrica gale, Artemesia vulgaris, Marrubium vulgare, Calluna vulgaris., Achillea millefoium (which abounds in the wild here in northeastern CT as does Artemesia). Gruit may also include ginger, caraway, anise, nutmeg, cinnamon and juniper berries. Fascinating stuff! Thank you, William.



24-48 in


(1)2 to 6
What is my hardiness zone?
Item Description Price  
MYGALE Myrica gale (5 inch Square x 6 inch Tall - true 2 quarts / 1.8927 liters) $28.00

Characteristics and Attributes for Myrica gale

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Late Spring / Early Summer

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Spring / Summer / into Autumn

Interesting Bark

  • Colored

Nature Attraction

  • Songbirds
  • Deer Resistant


  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Full Sun


  • Pond, Bog, Wetland
  • Hedge
  • Bog
  • Wetland Reclamation
  • Medicinal / Herbal
  • Natural Garden
  • Edging
  • Wildlife Garden
  • Massing
  • Marginal
  • Salt Tolerant

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Moderately Fast


  • Wet
  • Moist
  • Average
  • Sandy


  • Circumpolar

Propagated By

  • Cutting Grown