Jasminum officinale

9 May

Jasminum officinale (24/06/2012, London)

Jasminum officinale (24/06/2012, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Moist, well drained

Flowering period: Summer to early autumn

Eventual Height: 12m

Eventual Spread: (indefinite)

Hardiness: 8a, 8b ,9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Oleaceae

Jasminum officinale is a semi-deciduous climber with a vigorous twinning habit. It has opposite, pinnate, mid green leaves composed of 5 to 9 elliptic leaflets with pointed tips. It bears terminal, umbel like cymes, which consist of clusters of 5 salverform, white, fragrant flowers that release their scent at dusk.

Jasminum officinale Flower (24/06/2012, London)

Jasminum officinale Flower (24/06/2012, London)

Jasminum officinale, commonly known simply as Jasmine, has been cultivated for such a long period of time that its native origins are unknown; the Chinese believed it to be from Byzantium in the third Century and Linneas believed it to have originated in Switzerland. Its essential oils are extracted for use in perfumes, aromatherapy and is a valuable commodity, extracted from flowers picked at night. The variety Jasminum officinale ‘Clotted cream’ has larger, cream coloured flowers than those of the species.

Jasminum officinale 'Clotted cream' Flower (24/06/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Jasminum officinale ‘Clotted cream’ Flower (24/06/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Jasminum is said to be derived from ysmyn, the Arabic for the genus. Officinale is derived from the Latin translating as ‘of the shop’.

Jasminum officinale is highly useful to the landscape architect as an excellent large climber that can cover a large structure with a single plant. In the south of England it is also usually an evergreen plant. It is also of note for its strongly scented flowers, being particularly fragrant at night as it releases its essential oils at dusk.

Jasminum officinale will tolerate a wide pH range so long as the soil is free draining, but should be planted in a sheltered location with a west or south facing aspect.

Jasminum officinale Leaf (03/07/2015, Walworth, London)

Jasminum officinale Leaf (03/07/2015, Walworth, London)

Ecologically,  Jasminum  officinale will attract pollinating insects such as bees, which feed on its nectar.

The Royal Horticultural Society have given Jasminum officinale their prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Jasminum officinale requires little to no care, thin old shoots should be pruned out after flowering.

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