Jasmine - Jasminum polyanthum

Jasmine - Jasminum polyanthum

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The word "Jasmine" comes from the Persian "yasamin" with the overlap of the word "mulberry". It belongs to the Oleaccee family, with white or yellow and very fragrant star-shaped flowers. It includes about two hundred shrub species. The most famous jasmine is the Jasminus officinale. Another renowned species is the humble Jasminum.
In German: der Jasmin. In English: the jasmine.
Aimи-Martin says that Jasmine seems to have been created specifically to serve the emblem of amiability and compares it to people of perfect character, who seem to be put into society to enrich it morally.
The Jasmine, a native of the Malabar in the East Indies, was imported into Europe by Spanish navigators in an unspecified period between 1524 and 1528. But in Italy it seems however that it existed even before that time, and a figure of such a well-designed and colorful flower found in the Codex left to us by Rinio "Liber de Simplicibus" written in 1415. Perhaps the Jasmine had in its early days the common fate with many other flowers, it was either little known or little appreciated.
The first to have some specimens of it was Cosimo I de 'Medici, known as the "Great Devil": he became so enamored of this little flower, that if he wanted to be its unicity, he strictly forbade his gardeners to give them even one plant and to reproduce it in many specimens. The grand-ducal order was scrupulously respected for many years and who knows how long Jasmine would have remained the exclusive property of the Medici, if a fortuitous event had not facilitated its propagation. A young gardener, wanting to present a rich and kind gift to his fiancée on the day of his name day, thought of offering her a sprig of Jasmine, and he did so. The young woman likes very much: it is painful that such a beautiful and rare flower should wither so soon, put it on the ground to keep it fresh for a longer time. He got more than he hoped. Jasmine remained green throughout the year and in the following spring it threw new shoots and new flowers. Subjected to better cultivation, it became more robust and gave lush shoots which constituted many plants. He became the father, if not of all, at least the good part of the Jasmines we own! The revenue from the sale of these seedlings was so conspicuous that the poor lovers soon became wealthy and happy spouses. From that time the Tuscan girls used to wear a bouquet of jasmine in the day of the wedding, in memory of this event. In Tuscany it is still said that "a girl worthy of wearing that bouquet is rich enough to make her husband's fortune".
Jasmine cultivation is the easiest. Whatever land suits him, it grows better, however, in light and fresh soils greased with well-soaked horse hair manure. The frosts, if intense and prolonged, can kill its branches, but it is rare that they spoil its roots, so that, in this case, it is enough to cut its branches towards the ground in the spring to get the most thriving shoots and to repair the damage suffered in just two years .
In certain areas of Italy, especially in Liguria, it is cultivated jasmine for use in perfumery.

Characteristics of Jasmine

Family and gender

Fam. Oleaceae, gen. Jasminum (more than 200 species)
Type of plantShrubs or climbers
FoliageEvergreen or sparse even depending on the climate
RusticitаGenerally little, but some are very durable
GroundLoose, neutral, well drained
colorsWhite, pink, yellow, red
CultureModerately easy
FloweringJune July. Some at the end of winter
Height30 cm-10 meters
PropagationTalea, offshoot, seed

Jasmine plant

The jasmine plant is part of the Oleaceae family. In the genus Jasminum we can count more than 200 species. The habit can be shrubby or climbing even depending on the size it reaches the plant. Some varieties are rather compact and bushy (about 1 meter tall). Others are climbing or sarmentose and can even reach 10-15 meters. The leaves vary widely depending on the species. The flowers, on the other hand, are always star-shaped with a long tubule at the base. Colors range from white to pink to yellow to red.


Almost all jasmines have been imported from Central Asia, but some also come from Africa and Australia. Jasminum Fruticans is the only native of Europe.
The jasmine officinale was already known by the Greeks and the Romans, but it was lost. It was then reintroduced in the mid-1400s. Jasminum Sambac was cultivated in England as early as the 1600s, while the extremely popular Nudiflorum, mesnyi and polyanthum arrived in the late 1800s. The history of the Sambac jasmine in Italy is singular and curious: the Grand Duke Cosimo de 'Medici he was the first to own one. He was very jealous of it and forbade even a leaf of it was cut off (for fear of trying to reproduce it).
Legend has it that a young gardener instead donated a twig to his girlfriend. This planted him in his garden and the jasmine radicated. They then began to multiply it and sell it and with the proceeds they could get married. Since then in Tuscany all brides carry a bunch of jasmine.


First of all, we must distinguish rustic varieties from those that are more sensitive to frost.
Rustic varieties generally tolerate temperatures well up to -15 ° C. They are: Jasminum officinale, Jasminum nudiflorum, Jasminum mesnyi, Jasminum beesianum, Jasminum floridum, Jasminum odoratissimum, Jasminum Ozoricum, Jasminum x stephanense.
The are generally resistant jasminum polyanthum and the jasminum revolutum.
Jasminum Sambac and grandiflorum are instead delicate.

Cultivation and planting

Jasmine cultivation is very simple because (apart from the scarce rusticity of some species) they are very resistant plants.
They love a loose, neutral and well-drained soil.
First of all, dig a hole that is at least three times as wide as the pot and about 20-30 cm deeper. The ideal is to fill it with 70% of garden soil (not too heavy) and 30% gravel. On the bottom of the hole it is always a good rule to put some mature manure

In pot

You can also choose to grow them in pots, taking care to choose the smallest varieties for this. For example, the ideal is Jasminum Odoratissimum, the different cultivars of Sambac or polyanthum (to be kept small). Cultivating in a container is a necessary choice for those wishing to possess delicate varieties such as Sambac. This would allow him to withdraw the plants during the winter.
The pots must be at least 30 cm wide, but we recommend, if you can give containers as wide and deeper as possible. The mixture of garden soil and gravel is also indicated here. It is essential to guarantee good drainage by creating a layer of gravel or expanded clay on the bottom.


The ideal exposure for jasmine is always full sun. In these conditions we will really give the plant the chance to develop at its best and flourish abundantly.
There are some cultivars, however, that tolerate the partial shade: Jasminum laurifolium nitidum and jasminum humile.

Irrigation and fertilization

Jasmines are less demanding plants. It is important to intervene with the irrigations at least once a week during the first two years from the plant. Then the plant can be said to be hydrically autonomous.
Naturally if the plant is in pot it will have to be followed more carefully and the irrigations will have to be more frequent, especially where the climate is more torrid.
At the time of planting it is always better to add to the earth some good handful of well-seasoned organic fertilizer.
To favor an abundant flowering it is advisable to administer a good liquid fertilizer with a high potassium content in April, May and June. Weekly or fortnightly administration ensures excellent results.

Pests and diseases

Jasmines are very hardy plants and rarely hit hard. It may happen that they are attacked by aphids or other phytophagous insects. It is advisable to fight them with insecticides that act by contact and ingestion.

Portamento and development

Development and growth vary greatly from one cultivar to another.
Bushes or shrubs: all the Sambacs generally have this habit. Odoratissimus,. Multipartitum, fruticans, parkeri, floridum, floridum, auriculatum.
Sarmentoso: nitidum, officinal, azoricum, molle, X stephanense, nudiflorum, angulare, beesianum, mesnyi, simplicifolium, simplicifolium, polyanthum.
The height is also very variable. They range from Jasminum parkeri, 30 cm, to the officinal who can even reach 15 meters.

Jasmine flowers

As for the flowers, some varieties of jasmine are very early, like the nudiflorum (it blooms from November to March depending on the latitudes).
Others, such as the officinale, have a rather short flowering which generally occupies May-June.
The earliest in the spring is the polyanthum which begins to flower already in April.
Prolonged flowering has many Sambac, Grandiflorum and azoricum cultivars.
The flowers have very similar shapes, but the number of petals and length varies.
The most particular can be found in some cultivars of Sambac. For example, the Sambac Maid of Orleans has very rounded petals while the famous Grand Duke of Tuscany has a very double corolla.
The most widespread color is the white, often slightly suffused with pink, while some varieties such as the x stephanense and the beesianum have bright pink or almost red inflorescences.
Yellow is more widespread: odoratissimum, fruticans, parkeri, nudiflorum, humile, mesnyi.


The shape of the leaves varies greatly. It is worth remembering that some species have interesting foliage to place in the garden.
For example, Jasminum fluminense bears small greyish leaves.
Also interesting are some officinal cultivars: the argenteovariegatum has abundantly white variegated leaves. La Fiona Sunrise brings golden green foliage.
The Jasminum fruticans has particular leaves: small, shiny and pinnate.

Jasmine pruning

Jasmines do not require regular pruning every year. They are plants that like to grow without being too contained. In general it is necessary to intervene at the beginning of spring only when there are old, dry or disordered branches, to be eliminated at the base.
If you want you can, to stimulate a greater flowering the following year, intervene shortening the branches after their flowering (never before!) Up to the gem that brought the last flower.
In this respect it is important to stress the importance of buying a variety with the right dimensions. Inserting a plant that will tend to grow a lot in a narrow place will force us to prune it severely. This will irreparably affect its blooms.
However, if we have a balcony and we necessarily have to respect spaces and borders with possible neighbors, pruning and containment of jasmine are necessary. Pruning also in this case will be carried out in two phases, the first one of reinvigoration and cleaning after winter and the second of form after flowering.
In reality very often the two interventions are reduced to a single cut of summer pruning. Once the beautiful flowering of this plant is over, we will eliminate the branches grown in excess trying to contain the height and volume of the plant. Use a pair of sharp pruning shears and pay attention to the white and sticky liquid that will come out of the cut branches.

Use in the garden and combinations

Jasmines can find many different uses also depending on their posture.
Climbing varieties can be used to coat gratings, border nets, arches or made to climb trees.
It is necessary, for the varieties that will become impressive, to prepare adequate supports that can support the weight they will reach. It should also be remembered that not all sarmentose varieties have the ability to cling to the supports themselves. We will therefore have to intervene ourselves by tying and directing the plant.
Excellent combinations can be with climbing roses and clematis.
The jasmine with shrub-bushy habit can be inserted in green spaces both as isolated elements, and combined with other perennial shrubs or herbaceous plants. The combination with citrus plants is also excellent and classic. The scent of their flowers will blend and create an unforgettable Mediterranean atmosphere.
A dispassionate suggestion is to cultivate jasmines near the houses or in places where you entertain yourself in the evening. Their fragrance becomes more penetrating during the night hours and it would be a pity not to be able to use them.


The simplest and most used methods for reproduction are cuttings and offshoots.
Above all the second gives satisfactory results.
Both must be performed in spring.
For the cutting it is sufficient to take a branch and cut it at the height of a knot, leaving only one or two apical leaves. It must be placed in a container with very light soil or, better, sand and agriperlite.
It is necessary to keep the substrate moist and cover everything with a plastic film (to avoid wasting moisture). Generally, four to eight weeks are enough to see rooting.
The offshoot is slower, but gives better results on more difficult to reproduce cultivars.
Choose a flexible branch, remove the basal leaves and fold it up to the ground and place it inside a vase so that at least two leaf knots remain at least 10-15 cm in length. The apical leaves must instead come out of the vase and be tied to a guardian. The portion of branch that emerges must measure about 20 cm and carry at least 10 leaves. The rooting should take about 6-8 months. At that point the branch portion can be detached from the mother plant and continued with cultivation.

Jasmine - Jasminum polyanthum: The meaning of jasmine

Even if you have almost certainly bought a jasmine vine for the splendid flowering and the intense perfume that this plant gives off, perhaps you don't know that besides the ornamental value, the jasmine also has a strong symbolic meaning.
Jasmine is in fact a plant associated with sweetness, and sensuality that symbolizes the ability of people to attract, convince and be loved.
There are many legends that have been written about jasmine, one of the most interesting is that related to Kitza, the mother of the stars, but we prefer to limit ourselves to decanting the numerous ornamental qualities of this plant.
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