Every well landscaped yard needs focal points, a point of view that is always attractive no matter what time of year it is. Many times home owners resort to inanimate objects like sculptures and fountains to create a constantly lovely space at pertinent points in the yard. Here in Arizona, the creation of a focal point with xeriscaping landscaping can get a great looking boost with carefully chosen and properly plants, though it is important to consider if such a plant will always fit the space so it is allowed to grow into its natural beauty.
The plant we’re focusing on today is the Twisted Myrtle, a variation of the common Roman Myrtle. This evergreen shrub isn’t something you should use as a foundation planting hedge if you want to enjoy the natural form that is sculptured and unique. The scientific name for this Arizona shrub is Myrtus comminus ‘Boetica’ which has contorted trunk, stems and branches not found on the standard Roman Myrtle plant. The added interest in it’s shaping is really very attractive, even more so when it is pruned to become more of a large bonsai than a dense shrub.
The foliage of the Twisted Myrtle is aromatic, making it a great plant for the planting areas close to outdoor living spaces. You won’t have to worry to much about exposure in your Paradise Valley landscaping with this one, it takes the heat of full sun even in our Arizona summers, as well as thriving in part shade. In summer, many lovely starburst shaped flowers will add a delightful, sweet scent and bright interest to this plant. Butterflies love the blooms which are followed by black-purple berries in fall that the birds will thoroughly enjoy.
As with most homeowners in the greater Phoenix area, you’ll no doubt be concerned about water use in your Paradise Valley landscaping. Good news! Not only is this a handsome shrub with four seasons of interest, its a prime candidate for great looking xeriscaping landscaping in this part of Arizona.
Super low maintenance when you place it where it can grow into it’s 6-10 foot height, the Twisted Myrtle definitely prefers well draining soil and very little watering. In fact, this native of the Mediterranean is most unhappy if you water it too much, and prone to chlorosis.
Mature shrub image courtesy of Glendale Library.