The Myrtle (Myrtus) is a genus of one or two species of flowering plants in the family Myrtaceae, native to southern Europe and north Africa. They are evergreen shrubs or small trees, growing to 5 m tall. The leaves are entire, 3-5 cm long, with a pleasantly fragrant essential oil. The star-like flowers have five petals and sepals, and an amazingly large number of stamens, similar to a white petaled St John's Wort. Petals are usually white, with globose blue-black berries containing several seeds.
The leaves, flowers and berries are commonly used. They have a sweet orange-like note and are astringent. Use sparingly.
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