Dwarf myrtle

Myrtus communis ‘Compacta’


The dwarf myrtle slowly grows into a medium size evergreen shrub up to 5-8 ft. high and as wide. It is one of the most popular and well adapted plants for clipped hedge and topiary uses. Foliage is comprised of 1-2 in. long pointed leaves that are bright glossy green and have a spicy fragrance when clipped or crushed. Noticeable clusters of small white flowers are pleasantly fragrant and occur in spring; these are often removed when plants are sheared.

Myrtle is native to Europe where it occurs in coastal and inland habitats around the Mediterranean region. It has been cultivated in gardens for centuries for scented oils contained within its foliage, flowers and bark. These oils are widely used in the production of perfumes. In Southern California, this plant has shown wide adaptability to a variety of soil types, including calcareous. The best foliage character is maintained with regular moisture, particular when grown as a hedge. Older plants can be pruned to reveal twisting trunks that have an interesting bark character for specimen value in raised planters.

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Mounding, Low-branching, Dense, Compact
Growth Rate: Moderate
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: White
Flower Season: Summer
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Silt, Loam, Clay, Calcareous soil
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Morning sun, Heat, Frost, All day sun
Function: Screening, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Grouped, Foundations, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Espalier, Commercial spaces, Civic spaces, Borders, Banks, Background plant, Fragrant foliage, Hedge
Height: 5 ft. – 8 ft.
Width: 5 ft. – 8 ft.