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Common Name:


Scientific Name:

Myrtus communis

Family Name:



This fine textured evergreen species will mature as an upright oval small tree, but is often maintained as a small to medium sized shrub. White to pink spring flowers are followed by globose blue-black like berries. Myrtle is a good heat, drought, and salt tolerant substitute for Boxwoods (Buxus spp.).

Plant Habit or Use:

Shrub, small shrub, medium shrub, large shrub, tree, small tree, topiary, tropical


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Small 3 to 7 flowered cymes of fragrant flowers.

Blooming Period:

Spring, summer

Fruit Characteristics:

Blue-black elongated globose berries.


12 ft to 15 ft, but maintained under 5 ft to 6 ft


5 ft to 8 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Medium Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Medium Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Scale insects and sooty mold can be a problem; root rots, thrips, and spider mites can also be a problem.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.