Without any doubt the most representative plant of the Alhambra and Generalife is the myrtle (from the Arabic term al-rayhan, “the aromatic”, because of the smell of its leaves when they are rubbed, thanks to their essential oils). Its intensive cultivation as an ornamental specie is due to: its fine texture, its relatively rapid growth, its delicate and fragrant white flowers, and its adaptation to be prunned as hedges and topiaries.
Among its many varieties and cultivars, the most significant to us is the “Moorish myrtle”, with larger and curled leaves. The species has been cited by several authors since the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Despite it has been widely used in the gardens of the monument, nowadays only remain scattered specimens, some of them with more than a hundred years old. Therefore, its study, recovery and multiplication, is an important goal to the Patronato of the Alhambra and Generalife.