Common myrtles are evergreen shrubs native to the Mediterranean. These beautiful plants are best known for their gorgeous little flowers that erupt from summer until fall. In this article, we’ll find out what colors common myrtle flowers come in.
What Colors Do Common Myrtle Flowers Come In?
Common myrtle flowers (Myrtus communis) only come in white, but some blooms may display slight hints of pink. These small white flowers are attractive and delicate, giving myrtle shrubs an elegant appearance. Although the common myrtle is a single species, horticulturalists have developed several cultivars, including:
- Myrtus communis ‘Buxifolia’ – This dwarf cultivar of common myrtle has tiny leaves and white flowers.
- Myrtus communis ‘Compacta Variegata’ – This beautiful myrtle cultivar has variegated foliage with yellow and white blotches. This variety is also relatively compact and grows up to 8 feet tall.
- Myrtus communis ‘Tarentina’ – A compact common myrtle cultivar that reaches approximately 6 feet tall and wide at full size. It also comes in a variegated version.
When Do Myrtle Flowers Bloom?
Common myrtle shrubs flower from summer until fall, usually starting early in June and ending in October. Myrtle flowers last somewhere between several weeks and a month or so. Myrtles growing in warmer climates often flower earlier than those in colder areas.
What Do Myrtle Flowers Symbolize?
Myrtle flowers symbolize love and devotion, which explains why they’re a popular choice in wedding bouquets. They were also important in Ancient Greece as they were associated with goddesses like Aphrodite and Demeter. Myrtle flowers are also linked to beauty, recovery, and restoration.
Like other white flowers, myrtle flowers may also symbolize innocence, peace, and purity. In the language of flowers, known as floriography, white flowers convey messages of honesty, lasting love, and trust.
About Common Myrtle Flowers
Family & Genus
The common myrtle flower is one of three species within the Myrtus genus in the Myrtaceae family. Of these three species, the common myrtle is the main one found in gardens. Common myrtles are often confused with the non-related crepe myrtles from the Lagerstroemia genus in the loosestrife family (Lythraceae).
Myrtle shrubs are primarily native to the Mediterranean and Southern Europe. Their native range also extends to parts of Africa, Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent. Common myrtle shrubs thrive in warm climates and mild winters in USDA Zones 8 to 10. That said, myrtle plants can tolerate temperatures as low as 10ºF.
Myrtles are evergreen shrubs or small trees with simple, lanceolate leaves. Common myrtle flowers have small, attractive single white flowers with five petals and several long, prominent stamens. Some flowers display a slight tinge of pink.
Myrtle flowers also produce a subtle, fresh scent similar to the smell of eucalyptus plants. After flowering finishes, myrtles produce bluish-black berries that are popular with birds.
Common myrtles rarely grow taller than 16 feet and spread approximately 8 to 10 feet wide. Myrtles are slow-growing shrubs that take 10 to 20 years to reach full size. Myrtles rarely produce more than 12 inches of new growth each year.
Uses & Benefits
Common myrtles are attractive ornamental shrubs that can also be trained as hedges. Myrtle leaves are edible and are mainly used as flavorings, similar to bay leaves. Although the berries are edible, they’re usually dried or ground.
Different parts of myrtle plants are used to produce essential oils. Myrtle bark also has possible medicinal benefits as it contains salicylic acid. This acid is also present in willow bark and works as a natural painkiller. These plants have been used medicinally since as early as 600 BC.
Myrtle Flower Colors FAQs:
What Do Myrtle Flowers Look Like?
Myrtle flowers have single white blooms with five petals and clusters of long stamens. Some of the petals may also display a tinge of pink.
What is Another Name for Myrtle Flowers?
Common myrtle flowers are also known as Corsican pepper or sweet myrtle. These plants are also known as “true” myrtles to distinguish them from the unrelated crepe myrtle.
What Time of Year Does Myrtle Flower?
Myrtle shrubs flower during the summer and fall. The small white flowers emerge as early as June and finish as late as October.
Common Myrtle Flower Colors: Wrapping Up
Common myrtles produce lovely small white flowers with several long stamens. Some petals also have hints of pink. Myrtle flowers bloom from summer until fall and produce a single round of flowers. Myrtle flowers also have a sweet, fresh scent similar to that of eucalyptus.
For more, see our in-depth guide to growing and caring for lemon myrtle and crape myrtle.
Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.
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