In my house and nearby places, there are some plants, which in our language are called "murta". They have purple-blackish colored berries, with green seedy inside, which are very bitter and leave a slight sensation almost analgesic like in the mouth. Ever since a kid i loved to eat them and never seemed to have any issue, but it doesn't seem like a common berry to eat, so i can't find much information about safety to eat them. Searching on internet, myrtus communis returns images very similar to the plants i have. Some internet sources say this berry is sweet when ripe and claim it is safe to eat. However the ones i eat are not sweet at all, perhaps because they are unripe. Are unripe berries of this kind safe to eat?

Added photo of it: enter image description here

  • adding a picture of the plant and berry would really help
    – kevinskio
    Commented Oct 31, 2021 at 12:39
  • 1
    @kevinskio Added picture. Commented Oct 30, 2022 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


I found a number of reputable references that class the berries as edible. That doesn't mean they would taste good, just that they won't harm you.

The term "murta" is listed as a Portuguese term for myrtle and the same site has the best one liner about this plant

Myrtle is another example of a spice finding no wide appli­cation because of its bitter­ness ... despite the pleasant odour.

This plant has a long history of being cultivated and there are many culinary uses including threading leaves through dried figs and then baking them which sounds delicious. The leaves are used when smoking food and the Sardinians make Murto, an alcoholic drink out of it.

Most fruit is better when ripe so I recommend that you hold off on snacking until just before the birds arrive to eat the berries.

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