Myrtle – Myrtus communis

Myrtle – Myrtus communis

Common Name: Myrtle

Botanical Name: Myrtus communis, MUR-tus com-MUN-is

Decorative Life: 10 plus days.

Flower Color:


Family Roots:
  • As a member of the Myrtaceae (myrtle family), its common relatives include Eucalyptus, Leptospermum and Melaleuca.
  • Native to the Mediterranean region.
  • 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.
Storage Specifics:

36-41 F, for up to 5 days in water.

  • 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.

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