This month, our tree specialists at Glendale Civic Trees recommend the common myrtle for its abundance of charming summer flowers.

Where does it grow?

Common myrtle, or Myrtus communis, is part of the Myrtaceae family which also includes Eucalyptus and Guava.  It is native to the Mediterranean and as a result flowers best after a long, hot summer.  

Why is it cultivated?

Aside from being a lively and colourful addition to a garden or landscaping project, the leaves can also be dried for use in potpourris or used to flavour pork or game dishes.  

What conditions does it prefer?

Myrtus communis grows best in moist but well-drained soil in full sunlight, protected from cool winds and heavy rain.  

What does it look like up close?

The common Myrtle is an aromatic, evergreen shrub.  It has small, glossy emerald-green leaves that are bay-leaf like in shape and give off a fragrant aroma.  The luminescent foliage is offset by ginger-coloured bark and an abundance of sweet-scented flowers in the late summer months.  The flowers are followed by small, purple-black berries that are very popular with birds.

Any distinctive features?

The most distinctive feature of Myrtus communis is it’s fragrant, fluffy, white flowers.  Although small, they are festooned with gold-tipped stamens that gleam in the sunlight making them popular in bridal bouquets.  In fact, the elegant shrub has had a long association with love and is the sacred herb of Aphrodite the Greek goddess of love.  

Interesting Facts:

  • Common Myrtle was traditionally used for medicinal purposes due to its antiseptic properties and is still used by aromatherapy practitioners as an essential oil for treating skin and respiratory  complaints
  • The tree has received the prestigious AGM (Award of Garden Merit) from the Royal Horticultural Society

Our recommendations:

Deric Newman, sales manager at Civic Trees, says: ”Myrtus communis is an asset to any garden all year round and makes a great addition to a sunny border.  It is a handsome backdrop for other flowering plants complementing both informal Mediterranean themed beds and sensory habitats, alongside other fragrant specimens like Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’ or Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Severn Sea’.

“The tree is ideal for landscaping projects utilising the current trend of gardening for wildlife, as the flowers and berries are a source of natural food for birds.  As it is a Mediterranean specimen it is advisable to situate it beside a warm wall to encourage it to flourish, and protect it from frost damage.  It does particularly well in a mild, sunny seaside climate.”

To find out more about the tree of the month and if it will work well in your project contact our team: 0208 950 4491 or info@civictrees.co.uk.

If you enjoyed this why not try our Tree of the Month recommendation for July.