Twisted Myrtle

Myrtus communis
Category Shrub
Size 9' to 12'
Flower Color White
Flower Season Spring Summer
Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Low
Growth Rate
Hardiness 16°F


This twisted, irregular evergreen grows to heights of nine to twelve feet with dark green, glossy leaves that have a slight sharp point on the tip and are clustered around the branches. The foliage produces an aromatic scent when the plant is touched. Its growth habit is interesting in appearance, with a twisted branching pattern. The plant has tan bark, and when mature, it peels and becomes papery. In spring through summer, twisted myrtle produces fragrant, white, star-shaped blossoms in small clusters on its branches, followed by bluish-black fruit. The bitter fruit can be eaten and the flowers attract birds, butterflies, and bees. Use it as a focal point, accent, screen, background planting, barrier, container, or informal hedge. It also is an excellent plant choice for oriental or Japanese gardens. When it reaches maturity, prune off the branches to expose its exquisite trunk. This plant is native to Iran and Afghanistan and has been cultivated throughout Mediterranean gardens for many centuries.


This plant likes full sun to partial shade. It prefers regular irrigation, but will take some drought conditions. If it is over-watered or is grown in poorly draining soils, the plant could become chlorotic. Treat this with iron chelated fertilizers as needed. Twisted myrtle does best when planted in amended soil, with organic mulch. It is hardy from sixteen to twenty degrees Fahrenheit.