Botanical name: Myrtus communis Family: Myrtaceae (Bottlebrush family)
True Myrtle is an evergreen shrub or small tree, growing up to 5 m tall. The leaf is entire, 3-5 cm long, producing a fragrant essential oil. The star-like flowers have five petals and sepals, and numerous stamens. Petals are usually white. The fruit is a round blue-black berry containing several seeds. The flowers are pollinated by insects, and the seeds are dispersed by birds that eat the berries. True Myrtle is native to southern Europe and north Africa.
Medicinal uses: Myrtle occupies a prominent place in the writings of Hippocrates, Pliny, Dioscorides, Galen, and the Arabian writers. In numerous Mediterranean countries, the extract of the myrtle herb is used to make the hair grow longer in a short period of time.
Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
The flower labeled True Myrtle is ...