- Type Flowering shrub
- Lifespan Long-lived perennial
- USDA Zones 8-11
- Light Full to partial sun
- Water Well-drained soil
- Location Sheltered spot
- Design Tip Royal bridal bouquets
- Companions Tulips, muscari
- Peak Season Summer flowers
Myrtle: A Field Guide
The name “common myrtle” does not accurately convey the power of this unassuming, evergreen shrub that has fizzy white blooms in summer. A sprig of Myrtus communis traditionally commands center stage at British royal weddings, where it has been carried in bridal bouquets since Victoria sat on the throne.
In the garden, where myrtle at maturity may reach heights of 16 feet (and look more like a small tree than a shrub), its glossy green leaves create a pleasing foil to other shrubs and flowering plants. A Mediterranean transplant that likes warm weather (it is perennial in USDA growing zones 8 to 11), myrtle will perform best in a sheltered, warm spot where it is protected from wind. In a smaller garden, consider the dwarf variety Myrtus communis ‘Compacta’, a slow-growing shrub which eventually will reach a height of from six to 8 feet.