Tuesday, November 25, 2014


 (Jasminum officinale)

Known to freshen the air with its perfume, produce a blend of scented tea and create a beautiful topiary, jasmine is in the olive family with over 150 species.  The name is from the Persian word yasmin meaning “white flower” and it was the Persians who designated it as king of the flowers, to rule next to the rose as queen.  Native to tropical regions of Asia, Africa and Australia where it has been used medicinally as well as for an aphrodisiac and for ceremonial purposes in Hindu and Buddhist religions, it is currently grown for its essential oil in France, Italy, Morocco, Egypt, China, Japan and Turkey.  Jasmine is also the national flower of Pakistan.

A climbing, vine-like bush which is hardy to zone 6, jasmine has rich green thick and shiny leaves, but is best known for its star-shaped white or very pale pink flowers.  Blooming from June to October, the fragrant scent increases at night and can perfume an entire room or garden.  It can be grown in almost any soil type as long as it receives adequate, generous moisture and warm temperatures in sun or partial shade.  It does require night temperatures below 60 degrees in winter to produce a constant flow of flowers through the growing season.  Jasmine can be grown as a vine or shrub, but frequent pruning is necessary to maintain a desired size.  Pruning is also helpful to maintain an abundance of flowers, since they are produced on new wood.  Propagate by seed in a cold frame or by cuttings in summer or fall.  With its long bloom time and relatively easy culture, Jasmine is a nice addition to an indoor garden or can be grown in a container outdoors.  Since it is not hardy north of zone 6, it can be brought inside in late summer or early fall, then placed outdoors again in May.  The jasmine flowers are either picked at daybreak or just after the sun has set in order to capture their aromatic scent.

Jasmine flowers are consumed as a tisane or herbal tea as well as layered with fine green tea to produce one of the most pleasant tasting and soothing green teas available.  The essential oil from the flowers is also used as a condiment in various foods, especially Maraschino cherries, as well as alcoholic beverages and soft drinks.  Jasmine pure essential oil is also wonderful to calm the nervous system and tone irritated and sensitive skin.  Because of its exotic fragrance, it is a popular choice for soaps, cosmetics, perfumes and colognes.

Jasmine tisane
which is called jasmine flower tea
is popular in China
as well as jasmine scented tea


Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”
Psalm 34:8

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