A plant of the genus Myrica (family Myricaceae) of shrubs and small trees having aromatic foliage; especially bog myrtle, Myrica gale, and wax myrtle, M. cerifera; (in form Myrica) the genus itself.
Valid publication of the genus name: Linnaeus Species Plantarum (1753) II. 1024.
Mid 16th century (in an earlier sense). From classical Latin myrīcē, also myrīca tamarisk or its etymon ancient Greek μυρίκη; further etymology uncertain, but probably a loanword, perhaps ultimately cognate with tamarisk.