|Jasminum officinale—Common Jasmine|
Jasmine (taxonomic name Jasminum //) is a genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family (Oleaceae). It contains around 200 species native to tropical and warm temperate regions of Eurasia, Australasia and Oceania. Jasmines are widely cultivated for the characteristic fragrance of their flowers. A number of unrelated plants contain the word "Jasmine" in their common names (see Other plants called "Jasmine").
Jasmine can be either deciduous (leaves falling in autumn) or evergreen (green all year round), and can be erect, spreading, or climbing shrubs and vines. Their leaves are borne in opposing or alternating arrangement and can be of simple, trifoliate, or pinnate formation. The flowers are typically around 2.5 cm (0.98 in) in diameter. They are white or yellow in color, although in rare instances they can be slightly reddish. The flowers are borne in cymose clusters with a minimum of three flowers, though they can also be solitary on the ends of branchlets. Each flower has about four to nine petals, two locules, and one to four ovules. They have two stamens with very short filaments. The bracts are linear or ovate. The calyx is bell-shaped. They are usually very fragrant. The fruits of jasmines are berries that turn black when ripe. The basic chromosome number of the genus is 13, and most species are diploid (2n=26). However, natural polyploidy exists, particularly in Jasminum sambac (2n=39), Jasminum flexile (2n=52), Jasminum mesnyi (2n=39), and Jasminum angustifolium (2n=52).
Distribution and habitat
Jasmines are native to tropical and subtropical regions of Eurasia, Australasia and Oceania, although only one of the 200 species is native to Europe. Their center of diversity is in South Asia and Southeast Asia.
A number of jasmine species have become naturalized in Mediterranean Europe. For example, the so-called Spanish jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum) was originally from West Asia and Indian subcontinent, and is now naturalized in the Iberian peninsula.
Jasminum fluminense (which is sometimes known by the inaccurate name "Brazilian Jasmine") and Jasminum dichotomum (Gold Coast Jasmine) are invasive species in Hawaii and Florida. Jasminum polyanthum, also known as White Jasmine, is an invasive weed in Australia.
Species belonging to genus Jasminum are classified under the tribe Jasmineae of the olive family (Oleaceae). Jasminum is divided into five sections—Alternifolia, Jasminum, Primulina, Trifoliolata, and Unifoliolata.
- J. abyssinicum Hochst. ex DC. – forest jasmine
- J. adenophyllum Wall. – bluegrape jasmine, pinwheel jasmine, princess jasmine
- J. andamanicum N.P.Balakr. & N.G.Nair
- J. angulare Vahl
- J. angustifolium (L.) Willd.
- J. auriculatum Vahl – Indian jasmine, needle-flower jasmine
- J. azoricum L.
- J. beesianum Forrest & Diels – red jasmine
- J. dichotomum Vahl – Gold Coast jasmine
- J. didymum G.Forst.
- J. dispermum Wall.
- J. elegans Knobl.
- J. elongatum (P.J.Bergius) Willd.
- J. floridum Bunge
- J. fluminense Vell.
- J. fruticans L.
- J. grandiflorum L. – Catalan jasmine, jasmin odorant, royal jasmine, Spanish jasmine
- J. humile L. – Italian jasmine, Italian yellow jasmine
- J. lanceolarium Roxb.
- J. malabaricum Wight
- J. mesnyi Hance – Japanese jasmine, primrose jasmine, yellow jasmine
- J. multiflorum (Burm.f.) Andrews – Indian jasmine, star jasmine, winter jasmine
- J. multipartitum Hochst. – starry wild jasmine
- J. nervosum Lour.
- J. nobile C.B.Clarke
- J. nudiflorum Lindl. – winter jasmine
- J. odoratissimum L. – yellow jasmine
- J. officinale L. – common jasmine, jasmine, jessamine, poet's jasmine, summer jasmine, white jasmine
- J. parkeri Dunn – dwarf jasmine
- J. polyanthum Franch.
- J. sambac (L.) Aiton – Arabian jasmine, Sambac jasmine
- J. simplicifolium G.Forst.
- J. sinense Hemsl.
- J. subhumile W.W.Sm.
- J. subtriplinerve Blume
- J. tortuosum Willd.
- J. urophyllum Hemsl.
- J. volubile Jacq..
Cultivation and uses
Widely cultivated for its flowers, jasmine is enjoyed in the garden, as a house plant, and as cut flowers. The flowers are worn by women in their hair in South and South East Asia.
Jasmine tea is often consumed in China, where it is called jasmine-flower tea (茉莉花茶; pinyin: mò lì huā chá). Jasminum sambac flowers are also used to make jasmine tea, which often has a base of green tea or white tea, but sometimes an Oolong base is used. The flowers are put in machines that control temperature and humidity. It takes about four hours for the tea to absorb the fragrance and flavour of the jasmine blossoms. For the highest grades of jasmine tea, this process may be repeated up to seven times. As the tea absorbs moisture from the fresh Jasmine flowers, it must be refired to prevent spoilage. The used flowers may be removed from the final product, as the flowers contain no more aroma. Giant fans are used to blow away and remove the petals from the denser tea leaves.
In Okinawa, Japan, jasmine tea is known as sanpin cha.
Jasmine gave name to the jasmonate plant hormones, as methyl jasmonate isolated from the oil of Jasminum grandiflorum led to the discovery of the molecular structure of jasmonates. Jasmonates occur ubiquitously across the plant kingdom, having key roles in responses to environmental cues, such as heat or cold stress, and participate in the signal transduction pathways of many plants.
Jasmine plantation is usually done using the stem of an existing plant, or one having roots. In rare occasions, the flowers bear dark purple fruits with seeds. The seeds germinated when sowed and nurtured properly. The flowering shrubs are usually trimmed pre-summer, as fresh branches grow and bear flowers during the summer.
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Jasmine is cultivated commercially for domestic and industrial uses, such as the perfume industry. It is used in rituals like marriages, religious ceremonies and festivals. Jasmine flower vendors sell garlands of jasmine, or in the case of the thicker motiyaa (in Hindi) or mograa (in Marathi) varieties, bunches of jasmine are common. They may be found around entrances to temples, on major thoroughfares, and in major business areas.
Several countries and states consider jasmine as a national symbol.
- Syria: The Syrian city Damascus is called the City of Jasmine.
- Hawaii: Jasminum sambac ("pikake") is a common flower used in leis, and is the subject of many Hawaiian songs.
- Indonesia: Jasminum sambac is the national flower, adopted in 1990. It goes by the name "melati putih" and is used in wedding ceremonies for ethnic Indonesians, especially on the island of Java.
- Pakistan: Jasminum officinale is known as the "chambeli" or "yasmin", it is the national flower.
- Philippines: Jasminum sambac is the national flower. Adopted in 1935, it is known as "sampaguita" in the islands. It is usually strung in garlands which are then used to adorn religious images.
- Thailand: Jasmine flowers are used as a symbol of motherhood.
Other plants called "jasmine"
- Brazilian jasmine Mandevilla sanderi
- Cape jasmine Gardenia
- Carolina jasmine Gelsemium
- Chilean jasmine Mandevilla laxa
- Jasmine rice, a type of long-grain rice
- Madagascar jasmine Stephanotis floribunda
- New Zealand jasmine Parsonsia capsularis
- Night-blooming jasmine Cestrum nocturnum
- Night-flowering jasmine Nyctanthes arbor-tristis
- Red jasmine Plumeria rubra
- Star jasmine, Confederate jasmine Trachelospermum
- Tree jasmine (disambiguation)
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