Myrtus (myrtle) is a genus of one or two species of flowering plants in the family Myrtaceae, native to southern Europe and north Africa. It is the type genus of the family. 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 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.
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