|Myrtus communis foliage and flowers
All species are woody, with essential oils, and flower parts in multiples of four or five. One character of the family is that the phloem is on both sides of the xylem, not just outside as in most other plants. The leaves are evergreen, alternate to mostly opposite, simple, and usually with an entire (not toothed) margin. The flowers have a base number of five petals, though in several genera the petals are minute or absent. The stamens are usually very conspicuous, brightly colored, and there are many of them.