Myrtus communis, the common myrtle or true myrtle, is a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family Myrtaceae. It is an evergreen shrub native to southern Europe, North Africa, Western Asia, Macaronesia, and the Indian Subcontinent, and also cultivated.[2]

Myrtus communis
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Myrtus
M. communis
Binomial name
Myrtus communis
    • Myrtus acuta Mill.
    • Myrtus acutifolia (L.) Sennen & Teodoro
    • Myrtus angustifolia Raf. nom. illeg.
    • Myrtus augustini Sennen & Teodoro
    • Myrtus aurantiifolia Grimwood nom. illeg.
    • Myrtus baetica (L.) Mill.
    • Myrtus baui Sennen & Teodoro
    • Myrtus belgica (L.) Mill.
    • Myrtus borbonis Sennen
    • Myrtus briquetii (Sennen & Teodoro) Sennen & Teodoro
    • Myrtus christinae (Sennen & Teodoro) Sennen & Teodoro
    • Myrtus eusebii (Sennen & Teodoro) Sennen & Teodoro
    • Myrtus gervasii (Sennen & Teodoro) Sennen & Teodoro
    • Myrtus italica Mill.
    • Myrtus josephi Sennen & Teodoro
    • Myrtus lanceolata Raf. nom. illeg.
    • Myrtus latifolia Raf. nom. illeg.
    • Myrtus littoralis Salisb.
    • Myrtus macrophylla J.St.-Hil.
    • Myrtus major Garsault nom. inval.
    • Myrtus media Hoffmanns.
    • Myrtus microphylla J.St.-Hil.
    • Myrtus minima Mill.
    • Myrtus minor Garsault nom. inval.
    • Myrtus mirifolia Sennen & Teodoro
    • Myrtus oerstedeana O.Berg
    • Myrtus petri-ludovici (Sennen & Teodoro) Sennen & Teodoro
    • Myrtus rodesi Sennen & Teodoro
    • Myrtus romana (L.) Hoffmanns.
    • Myrtus romanifolia J.St.-Hil.
    • Myrtus sparsifolia O.Berg
    • Myrtus theodori Sennen
    • Myrtus veneris Bubani
    • Myrtus vidalii (Sennen & Teodoro) Sennen & Teodoro

Description edit

The plant is an evergreen shrub or small tree, growing to 5 metres (16 ft) tall.[3] The leaves are 2–5 centimetres (1–2 in) long, with a fragrant essential oil.[3]

The flowers are white or tinged with pink, with five petals and many stamens that protrude from the flower.[3] The fruit is an edible berry, blue-black when ripe.[3]

The essential oils derived from this plant have anti-proliferative and anti-quorum sensing properties, helping against food spoilage.[4] The berries are also macerated in alcohol to make Mirto liqueur.

This species[5] and the more compact M. communis subsp. tarentina[6] have won the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[7] They are hardy but prefer a sheltered position in full sun.

Israeli stamp featuring the Myrtus communis, 1961

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, retrieved 13 August 2016
  2. ^ USDA GRIN Taxonomy, retrieved 13 August 2016
  3. ^ a b c d Cretan Flora: An illustrated guide to the flora of Crete, retrieved 13 August 2016
  4. ^ Myszka, Kamila; Sobieszczańska, Natalia; Olejnik, Anna; Majcher, Małgorzata; Szwengiel, Artur; Wolko, Łukasz; Juzwa, Wojciech (June 2020). "Studies on the anti-proliferative and anti-quorum sensing potentials of Myrtus communis L. essential oil for the improved microbial stability of salmon-based products". LWT. 127: 109380. doi:10.1016/j.lwt.2020.109380.
  5. ^ "RHS Plantfinder – Myrtus communis". Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  6. ^ "RHS Plantfinder – Myrtus communis subsp. tarentina". Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  7. ^ "AGM Plants – Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 64. Retrieved 10 April 2018.