Myrica rubra's common names include Yangmei in China, Yamamomo in Japan, Red Bayberry, Chinese Bayberry, and Yumberry. According to the CRFG Fruit Gardener March & April 2008 issue, the fruit is called yang-mei in China, which means "poplar-plum". A garden products importer from Indiana named Charles Stenftenagel was visiting a friend in Shanghai who bottled Myrica rubra juice. The way the people pronounced yang-mei in their dialect was "yang-mee", which Mr. Stenftenagel thought sounded like "yummy" and in 2003 they started calling it "Yumberry" because they though that would be a catchy name to help them commercialize it. Just like chinese gooseberry becoming kiwifruit, tree tomato being sold as tamarillo, african horned melon being trademarked as kiwano, chilean guava being marketed as tazziberry (can you get any cornier? It's from Chile, not Tasmania for godsakes!).
The Chinese have harvested yang-mei from the wild for 7000 years and cultivated the trees for at least 2000 years. It is a very popular fruit in China, which has 865,000 acres in production. For comparison, the United States has about 432,000 acres of apples, about 856,000 of citrus trees, and 1,044,000 of grapes, the only American fruit crop with greater acreage.
It is a dioecious tree with male and female flowers on separate plants. However some female trees will produce male flowers. The tree can grow in poor soils because of its ability to fix nitrogen. It prefers acid soil and enjoys a similar climatic range as citrus. It is said that it is not grown in Hawaii because it does require a bit of chill, although in China there is a wide range of adaptation, including tropical varieties on Hainan, a large island in the south. Recommended for Zones 8-10, can tolerate temperatures down to 16F.
As many of you know the recent California importation of grafted Myrica rubra cultivars from China has arrived. The minimum order was 100 trees so many people pulled together to make a collective order. There were three varieties offered: Dongkui, Ding'ao, and Wusu. All three are female but Dongkui also produces male flowers.
Below is a link that you may find very helpful.https://docs.google.com/present/view?id=ddzvzz9g_2zcnbbxcp
To save a copy to your computer, click "Actions" on the bar on the bottom of the screen, then "Download as PDF".
Here is the often-searched-for Myrica rubra article from the CRFG Fruit Gardener: