On a cool gray day in early Fall, my son and I collected bayberries from some shrubs near our house.
Although the berries were clustered thickly on the branches, it took us a long time to pick as many as we wanted.
We put them in a pot with some water and simmered them for a long time, until we could see puddles of wax floating on top of the water. After the water cooled, the wax hardened, and we could easily pick it out of the pot. This is what it looks like below. It is a pale green color, and smells wonderful.
There is very little of it, and I marvel at the effort involved to create candles with wax, as the English settlers at Plymouth Plantation did. To make a small candle we would have to melt it with beeswax. I haven't done it yet because lots of people have wanted to see what real bayberry wax looks like. If you would like to learn what other ways the English settlers at Plymouth Plantation used to generate light, click on the title of this post and read "Make an Olive Oil Lamp."