The Jasmine is a very popular flower around the world especially in the tropics because of its unique fragrance. The Jasmine is native to tropical and warm or temperate regions of the old world.
The Jasmine flowers are white in most species, with some species being yellow. The Jasmine is believed to have originated in the Himalayas in western China.
Unlike most genera in the Oleceae family, which have four corolla lobe petals, Jasmines often have five or six lobes. Jasmines are often strong and sweet scented. Jasmines are widely cultivated for their shining leaves and beautiful clusters of fragrant flowers.
Flowering in Jasmines takes place in summer or spring which is usally six months after planting. The Jasmine flower releases its fragrance at night after the sun has set and especially when the moon is waxing towards fullness. Jasmine flower buds are more fragrant than the flowers.
There exists a true Jasmine and a false Jasmine, and the two are commonly mistaken for each other because of the fragrance the plants release. The true Jasmine belongs to the family Oleaceae and is primarily a bushy shrub or a climbing vine and is non-poisonous.
True Jasmines have oval, shiny leaves and tubular, waxy-white flowers. The false Jasmine on the other hand is in a completely different genus, Gelsemium, and family, Loganiaceae, which is considered too poisonous for human consumption.
Facts About Jasmine
- Jasmine shrubs reach a height of 10-15 feet, growing approximately 12-24 inches per year.
- Jasmine leaves are either evergreen or deciduous.
- A Jasmine leaf is arranged opposite in most species. The leaf shape is simple, trifoliate or pinnate with 5-9 leaflets, each up to two and half inches long.
- The Jasmine stems are slender, trailing, green, glabrous, angled, and almost 4-sided.
- Most of the Jasmine species bear white flowers, which are about 1 inch in size.
- The Jasmine oil, which is a very popular fragrant oil, contains benzyl acetate, terpinol, jasmone, benzyl benzoate, linalool, several alcohols, and other compounds.
- The variety Jasminium sambac, is a clustered flower of an equally strong scent known in Hawaii as the Pikake.
- The two types of Jasmine which are used for oil production are the Jasminum grandiflorum and Jasminum officinale.
- The nectar of the fragrant flowers of Carolina Jasmine, Gelsemium sempervirens, is poisonous, although its dried roots are used as a sedative in medicinal preparations.
- The Jasmine flower oil, extracted from the two species Jasminum Officinale and Grandiflorum, is used in high-grade perfumes and cosmetics, such as creams, oils, soaps, and shampoos.
Growing Jasmine Flowers
- Jasmines grow well in moist, well drained, sandy loam to clayey garden soil with moderate level of fertility.
- Jasmines prefer a full sun to partial shade and a warm site.
- Jasmine bushes should be planted during June to November.
- Jasmine plant should be kept at least eight feet apart in order to save the later growth of the plant from jamming together.
- Adding of leaf molds to the soil makes a better growth of the plant.
- Mild fertilizer should be applied during spring.
- Plenty of water should be given during summer.
- Jasmine plants should be provided with full sunlight up to at least four hours a day.