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Jasminum adenophyllum Wall. ex C.B.Clarke 1882
pronounced: JAZ-mih-num ad-en-oh-FILL-um
(Oleaceae — the olive family)
common names: Bluegrape Jasmine, Pinwheel Jasmine, Princess Jasmine
Jasmine is a genus of shrubs and vines, containing about 200 species native to tropical and warm temperate areas of Europe (only one species), Asia, Australasia and Oceana. A number of species have become naturalized in Mediterranean Europe; for example, the so-called Spanish Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum) was originally from around Iran, but is now naturalized in the Iberian peninsula.
Jasmines are widely cultivated for the fragrance of their flowers. The plants can be either deciduous or evergreen, and can have spreading or climbing habits. The leaves can be either alternate or opposite, and simple, trifoliate or pinnate. The flowers can be white or yellow, or, very occasionally, slightly reddish. The flowers are generally borne in cymose clusters with at least 3 flowers, but are sometimes found solitary on the end of branchlets. They usually have from 4 to 10 petals, 2 locules, and up to 4 ovules. There are 2 stamens with very short filaments. The calyx is bell-shaped. The flowers almost invariable strongly emit the typical fragrance of this genus. The fruits are berries, usually black when ripe.
Jasminum adenophyllum is a fairly rare species from Meghalaya State in India. It is a spreading, fast-growing vine with large glossy dark green leaves 5 – 7 cm wide. It roots wherever it touches the ground. The flowers, with 10 narrrow curled petals, are very fragrant, and attract bees and butterflies. The fruits are grape-like blue-black berries, very attractive to birds.
Propagation may be from hardwood cuttings, or by layering. It can also be grown from seed, but seed does not store well, and should be sown as soon as possible, and after the fleshy coating has been removed. Viability is seldom above 50%.
Jasmine flowers are converted by solvent extraction into Jasmine Concrete and Jasmine Oleoresin (sold as Jasmine Absolute). Both products are in high demand in the perfume industry, coming next to rose in order of importance. Jasmine oil is also used in Aromatherapy, and for some ceremonial purposes. It is interesting to note that it takes about 8,000 carefully hand-picked flowers to make 1 ml of Jasmine Absolute. This is a viscous clear yellowish brown liquid with a delicate odour of fresh Jasmine flowers. Jasmine Concrete is a yellowish brown waxy mass, also with the characteristic Jasmine flower odour.
The oil is one of the most common oils used for meditation, where it is said to stimulate feelings of harmony and optimism, inducing joy and happiness.
Photographs taken in Picnic Bay 2012
Page last updated 19th January 2018