The WALA Plant Library

Synonyms for Myrrh: common myrrh, gum myrrh, heerabol myrrh, Turkey myrrh
Scientific Name: Commiphora molmol Engl.
Family: Burseraceae (frankincense family)


Myrrh the name evokes Christmas, far-off lands and exotic scents. The myrrh we know is the gum resin of a shrub or small tree growing up to three metres tall. Small, often irregular, trifoliate leaves and yellowish orange, paniculate inflorescences appear on the twigs of the knotty shrub at the end of the rainy season. Red berries ripen from the flowers. Spiny thorns on the side branches give the myrrh a rather menacing appearance.
Ducts in the bark exude sap spontaneously or when the bark is wounded. This sap dries on the bark to a greyish or yellowish brown resin myrrh. It is aromatic and has a sharp to very bitter taste.