MYRTUS COMMUNIS ssp. COMMUNIS
Common Names:- Myrtle
Synonyms:- Myrtus acuta, Myrtus belgica, Myrtus boetica, Myrtus italica,
Myrtus littoralis, Myrtus veneris.
Meaning:- Myrtus (Gr) The Greek name for myrtle.
Communis (L) Growing in clumps, common.
General description:- An erect, much-branched, evergreen shrub to 5m, though
often less; twigs glandular-hairy when young.
Leaves:- Opposite, simple, lance-shaped to oval, dark shining green, from 2 to
5cm length, pointed, tough, aromatic, persistent, almost stalkless, provided with
internal glands containing an essential oil.
Flower:- White or pinkish, from 20-30mm diam., solitary at the axil of the leaves,
long stalked. Corolla with 5 free, rounded petals. Calyx with 5 partly fused sepals,
in the shape of triangle. Stamens numerous and protruding. Only one style
surmounted by only one stigma.
Fruit:- Berry 7-10 x 6-8 mm, broadly ellipsoid to subglobose, hairless (glabrous)
not very fleshy usually blue-black when ripe
Habitat:- Maquis, woods, scrub, roadsides, occasionally by streams.
Distribution:- Widespread and common throughout the Mediterranean.
Widespread and common on Crete.
Flowering time:- May-Aug.
Photo by:- Steve Lenton Schinokapsala 18/05/2010
FAMILY AND GENUS DESCRIPTIONS
General description:- Evergreen trees or shrubs.
Leaves:- Simple, usually opposite, exstipulate, with aromatic oil-glands.
Flowers:- Hermaphrodite, actinomorphic. Calyx and corolla 4- or 5-merous.
Stamens numerous. Ovary inferior, syncarpous, with axile placentation; fruit a berry
General description:- Shrubs with simple,
Flowers:- Solitary in leaf-axils.
Fruit:- A berry crowned by the persistent calyx-teeth.
1) Leaves opposite.
2) Fruit a berry.
The bark, leaves and flowers contain an aromatic oil, Eau d'Anges, used in
perfumery and medicinally. The berries are sometimes fermented into an acid-