Myrtus communis
Common name: 
Common Myrtle
True Myrtle
Pronunciation: 
MUR-tus kom-MU-nis
Family: 
Myrtaceae
Genus: 
Type: 
Broadleaf
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
No
  • Broadleaf evergreen shrub or small tree, to 10 ft tall and 12 ft wide (3 × 6.7 m), dense foliage.   Bark is smooth and gray-brown, becomes handsome with age, eventually developing a brown to tan pealing segments revealing a darker or lighter tan inner bark.  Leaves simple, opposite, ovate to lanceolate, 2.5-5 cm long and about 1.5 cm wide, apex pointed, margin entire, dark glossy green, paler below, covered with transparent dots, strongly scented when crushed.   Flowers white or pink-white, to 3 cm wide, many stamens, fragrant, on long stalks (to 3 cm).   Fruit subglobose, 9 mm diam., blue-black when ripe.
  • Sun.   Requires well-drained soil.   Shelter from cool drying winds.  Often grown as hedge or screen.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 8      Native to Mediterranean and southwest Europe, although its native range is uncertain since the plant has been widely cultivated for centuries.
  • There are seveal cultivars, one is a dwarf, dense form known as 'Compacta'.
  • communis: common
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, shrub

    plant habit, shrub

  • plant habit, tree

    plant habit, tree

  • leafy shoot

    leafy shoot

  • leafy shoot

    leafy shoot

  • leafy shoot, underside

    leafy shoot, underside

  • leaf

    leaf

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark