Jasminum polyanthum

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Pink jasmine
Jasminum polyanthum2.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Jasminum
J. polyanthum
Binomial name
Jasminum polyanthum

Jasminum polyanthum, also known as pink jasmine or white jasmine, is an evergreen twining climber native to China and Burma (Myanmar).[1]


The Latin specific epithet polyanthum means “many-flowered”.[2] In China, it is currently known as the species of duohuasuxin多 花 素馨, morphologically "multiple flowers, white, fragrant" but jasmines, before the precise distinctions made by modern botany, were generally called molihua茉莉花.


It was first described by Adrien René Franchet in Revue Horticole 1891. Franchet was a botanist from National Museum of Natural History, France who brought it back from China by Father Delavay (1834-1895). It was during one of his expeditions to the mountains of northeastern Yunnan in 1883 that the botanist missionary discovered this jasmine. The introduction of J. polyanthum in Europe is the work of George Forrest, a Scottish botanist and Lawrence Johnston who in 1930 made an expedition to Yunnan where they collectively collected seeds of this jasmine. Johston brought seeds on his property in the Riviera, the Serre de la Madone, on the heights of Menton, where he cultivated and distributed to growers. Today, this pot-grown jasmine is very abundantly sold in garden centres, due to its fragrant bloom at the end of winter.


The plant in full bloom

The plant is very vigorous and can grow up to 6 metres in height when supported. It has compound leaves with 5 to 9 leaflets which are dark green on the upper surface and a lighter green on the lower surface. The terminal leaflet is noticeably larger than the other leaflets. The leaves are composed of 5 to 9 leaflets, dark green in the upper side and lighter green in the lower side with glabrous, terete or angular branches. The terminal leaflet is noticeably larger than the other leaflets. Depending on the climate, this vine has a semi-deciduous to evergreen foliage.


It produces an abundance of reddish-pink flower buds in late winter and early spring, followed by fragrant five-petalled star-like white flowers which are about 2 cm in diameter. The bracts are subulate, 1-6 mm. Each heterostyly flower is carried by a pedicel of 0.5 - 2.5 cm. It has a calyx formed by a 1-2 mm tube terminated by 5 triangular or subulate-linear lobes, only 2 mm long, and a corolla, white, with a red underside and red buttons. The fruit is a black, globular berry.[3]


Jasminum polyanthum is well known as a house plant in the USA and Europe. It can also grow in the garden, when climate conditions are good. USDA hardiness zones: 8 - 11. It grows fast and easily, and flowers nicely.[4] Outside it can be used to cover walls and fences etc. It can grow in sun and light shade as well. It is propagated by seed and by suckers. Jasminum polyanthum was given the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the RHS in 1993.[5][6] It was chosen on the Bicentenary list of 200 plants for the RHS: “This popular houseplant is an easily-grown, evergreen, half-hardy climber with loose panicles in summer of many strongly-fragrant pink-backed, white, trumpet-shaped flowers. It does not suffer pest or disease problems and is simple to propagate.”[7]

Invasive species[edit]

Jasminum polyanthum is naturalized in Australia[8] and New Zealand.[9] It can be regarded as an invasive species in these regions.[10] This species of jasmine spreads rapidly as it can grow from any small section of stem material. The stems layer profusely and runners spread long distances. It is highly shade tolerant and can flower under a full canopy. It forms dense ground cover, preventing the growth of native seedlings, and smothers all other vegetation up to mid-canopy level. Spread into established forest, for instance in New Zealand, is rapid.

It can be controlled by cutting the stem and branches and applying herbicides to the cut surfaces. Chemical control of ground cover is advised.[11]



  1. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Jasminum polyanthum
  2. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for Gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 978-1845337315.
  3. ^ Fred Whitsey, Tony Lord, The garden at Hidcote, Londres, Frances Lincoln, 2011, 160 p. (ISBN 978-0-7112-3235-8 et 0711232350)
  4. ^ See for instance Jasminum polyanthum in Floridata.com
  5. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Jasminum polyanthum". Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  6. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 56. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  7. ^ ""The Garden" 2004". Archived from the original on 2007-09-09. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
  8. ^ Jasminum polyanthum in Australia
  9. ^ Information on Jasminum polyanthum on NZPCN (New Zealand Plant Conservation Network)
  10. ^ e.g. Jasminum polyanthum on the Weeds of Blue Mountains Bushland website (Australia) Archived 2014-02-04 at the Wayback Machine and information on Jasminum polyanthum from the Auckland Regional Council (New Zealand)
  11. ^ Department of Conservation (NZ) 2005, p. 134f.

External links[edit]