Myrtus communis, the common myrtle or true myrtle, is a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family Myrtaceae. It is an evergreen shrub native to southern Europe, north Africa, western Asia, Macaronesia, and the Indian Subcontinent. The plant is an evergreen shrub or small tree, growing to 5 metres (16 ft) tall. The leaves are 2–5 centimetres (1–2 in) long, with a fragrant essential oil. The flowers are white or tinged with pink, with five petals and many stamens that protrude from the flower. The fruit is an edible berry, blue-black when ripe. Myrtus communis is known for its medicinal properties. It has been widely used as an anti-inflammatory reagent. The essential oils derived from this plant has anti-proliferative properties, helping against food spoilage. This species and the more compact M. communis subsp. tarentina have won the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. They are hardy but prefer a sheltered position in full sun.