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Common names


Of the large number of species belonging to this genus (about 200) only about a dozen are cultivated permanently in the open air in Britain. They are either climbers or shrubs of loose, spreading habit, and are either evergreen or deciduous; leaves alternate or opposite, simple, trifoliate, or pinnate. Flowers yellow or white, rarely red, usually fragrant; corolla with a slender, tapering tube, expanding at the mouth into normally five (sometimes more) spreading lobes. Stamens two. The berry-like fruits are normally twin, but frequently only one develops.

The species cultivated in North America have been treated by P. S. Green in Baileya, Vol. 13 (1965), pp. 137-172, and a revision of the alternate-leaved species by the same author was published in Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edin., Vol. 23 (3), pp. 355-384 (1961). Earlier Kobuski treated the Chinese species in Journ. Arn. Arb., (1932), pp. 145-179, with a revised key in the same journal, Vol. 40 (4), pp. 385-390 (1959).

Provided the climatic conditions are suitable, the jasmines are easily cultivated; they like a good garden soil and a sunny position. All are easily increased by cuttings of moderately ripened wood.

The jasmines need no annual pruning but should be periodically thinned. See further under J. nudiflorum and J. officinale.


Revised with the assistance of P. S. Green.

Species articles