myrtle Myrtaceae Myrtus
communis L. symbol: MYCO9
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, ovate, thick and leathery, entire margins, to 2 inches long; shiny dark green above, yellow green below; often tightly packed on the stems; fragrant when crushed.
Flower: Species is monoecious; white, five petalled, with long and numerous yellow-white stamens; appearing in late summer; fragrant.
Fruit: An aromatic blue-black berry to 1/2 inch, maturing in the fall.
Twig: Stiff, gray-brown, aromatic.
Bark: Red brown, initially brown and becoming scaly.
Form: A large shrub or small tree to 20 feet.
Looks like: laurel
Additional Range Information: Myrtus communis is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)