Myrtle


1 entry found.
Picture of Myrtle Myrtle
Common Name: Myrtle
Botanical Name: Myrtus communis (MUR-tus com-MUN-is)
Decorative Life: 10 plus days.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Remove bottom leaves if present, recut stems under water and place into water plus regular household bleach at 20 drops (1/4 teaspoon) per quart.
Family Roots:
  • As a member of the Myrtaceae (myrtle family), its common relatives include Eucalyptus, Leptospermum and Melaleuca.
  • Native to the Mediterranean region.
Personality:
  • Glossy pointed leaves occur along woody stems, regular and dwarf forms are found in the trade.
  • Stems woody, 12 inches long for dwarf types, up to 4 feet long for regular types.
  • Plant is an evergreen woody shrub, classed as a dicotyledon.
  • Leaves have sweet, spicy, orange scent, flowers also fragrant.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: Cream-white.
Storage Specifics: 36-41 F, for up to 5 days in water.
Tidbits:
  • Named for Myrrha, a favorite priestess of Venus. When pursued by too ardent a suitor, Venus turned Myrrha into this fragrant evergreen shrub to preserve her. The specific epithet name communis means growing in the same community.
  • Venus wore a myrtle wreath when Paris awarded her the Golden Apple for beauty. Myrtle is often used in wedding arrangements, representing Venus and love.
  • According to Arabian legend, Adam gave a sprig of myrtle to Eve when he declared his love for her. An infusion of the leaves makes a powerful antiseptic and astringent.
  • For those Chain of Life Network Members wanting more detailed information about the florists' greens industry, it is highly recommended that Robert Stamps' article entitled Florists' Botanicals (2001) be read.
  • This family is important economically for many edible fruits including guava, rose-apple, spices such as allspice and cloves, timber (eucalyptus) and many ornamental species.