Myrtus  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Myrtus (myrtle) is a genus of one or two species of flowering plants in the family Myrtaceae, native to southern Europe and north Africa. The plant is an evergreen shrub or small tree, growing to 5 m tall. The leaf is entire, 3-5 cm long, with a fragrant essential oil. The star-like flower has five petals and sepals, and numerous stamens. Petals usually are white. The fruit is a round blue-black berry containing several seeds. The flower is pollinated by insects, and the seeds are dispersed by birds that eat the berries.

The common myrtle Myrtus communis, also called true myrtle, is widespread in the Mediterranean region and is commonly cultivated. The other species, Saharan myrtle M. nivellei, is restricted to the Tassili n'Ajjer mountains in southern Algeria and the Tibesti Mountains in Chad, where it occurs in small areas of sparse relict woodland near the centre of the Sahara Desert; it is listed as an endangered species. However, some botanists are not convinced that M. nivellei is sufficiently distinct to be treated as a separate species.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Myrtus" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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