Greek legend tells of a nymph called Mirsine who raced against the goddess Athena and won. Athena, in a rage then killed Mirsine whose body was transformed into a beautiful myrtle bush. Branches and flowers are often used in wedding bouquets and in classical times poets and renowned thinkers wore wreaths of Myrtle. The leaves and flowers contain scented oil, and the leaves are also used as a herb when cooking meat and fish.
The fruit of this tree resembles strawberries and ripens from green to yellow to vivid red. This plant can live for up to a thousand years where older stems are replaced with new growth from its flattened woody base. The Strawberry tree is native to Mediterranean countries and also some milder Atlantic coasts such as western Ireland.
The fruit is edible with a delicate flavour and is used in liquors and jam making.
This tree, also known as the Redbud, is so named because it is from this type of tree that Judas is said to have hanged himself after he betrayed Jesus, therefore it is said to blush with shame ever since with a display of pink (magenta) flowers. Appropriately, it blossoms around Easter time. See my previous post on this tree here.
The Holm Oak is an evergreen tree not unlike the olive and is one of the trees still remaining from the primeval forests of Corfu.
Carob or Locust Tree
Prickly Pear Tree
This fruit was introduced to Europe from China in the mid-19th century and Corfu is especially renowned for it. There are distilleries on the island which produce the Koumquat liquor (rather sweet and syrupy) and you can also buy them as preserved fruit.