The murta (Myrtus communis L.) is an aromatic bush with persistent leaves and which can reach up to 5 meters in height. It has numerous branches; its leaves are small, ovate to lanceolate shape, uninerved. It has numerous aromatic flowers, with five white petals and several stamens. The fruit is a false berry, blue-tawny coloured, which is crowned by the cup which grows after the fertilization of the flower. Its fruits are popularly designated as “mastruços” and have an unpleasant taste.
It is an ornamental plant which can be found in bushes and xerophilic brushwoods as well as in margins of woods. All the aerial part is of traditional medicinal importance. It is a honeybee plant of ornamental interest. The leaves and branches are used in the industry of tannery. It belongs to the Myrtaceae family, as is the case of the eucalyptus.
Mário Fernandes Lousã
Botanist, QUERCUS member nr. 12661