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Common Name: Jessamine
Jasminum officinale is a Deciduous Climber up to 10.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
W. Asia to E. Asia - Afghanistan to China.
Shrubberies and forests, usually on humus-rich soils, 1200 - 3000 metres in the Himalayas[
]. Valleys, ravines, thickets, woods, along rivers, meadows; 1800 - 4000 metres in W. China[
Succeeds in a good well-drained loam[
], preferring a sunny position[
]. Very shade tolerant, it succeeds on a north facing wall[
Plants are hardy to about -15°c[
]. They require the protection of a wall in northern Britain but are fully hardy in the south[
]. Another report says that they are hardy to about -10°c, and that the stem tips are often killed back in the winter though the plant soon recovers[
]. Young plants, especially in their first year, are more likely to be damaged by cold weather[
Climbs by means of twining[
]. It is self-supporting[
] and fast-growing[
]. Any pruning is best carried out in late winter and early spring[
A very ornamental plant[
], there are some named varieties[
]. The flowers are very fragrant[
] and the plant is sometimes cultivated for the essential oil in its flowers, the sub-species J. officinale grandiflorum (L.)Kobuski. Is used[
]. Flowers are produced on the current year's growth and also on older wood[
]. Yields of 4 tonnes of flowers per hectare can be obtained in France[
]. Yields of the essential oil vary between 0.28 and 0.3%, producing between 42 and 55% absolute[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Flowers - fragrant. Eaten or used to flavour or scent tea[
]. The dried flowers are a tea substitute[
An essential oil from the flowers is used as a condiment in various foods, especially Maraschino cherries but also baked goods, ice cream, sweets, chewing gum etc[
]. It imparts a bitter-sweet floral tone[
The leaf juice is applied to corns and ear discharges[
]. The leaves contain salicylic acid (found also in the bark of Salix species and used as an analgesic, febrifuge etc)[
The root is used in the treatment of ringworm[
The flowers are aphrodisiac, antiseptic, antispasmodic, galactogogue and tonic[
]. Jasmine flowers make a calming and sedative infusion, taken to relieve tension[
]. They are mainly used in aromatherapy (see below).
Jasmine is used extensively in India to control fertility in women[
The essential oil is considered to be antidepressant and relaxing[
]. It is used externally to soothe dry or sensitive skin[
The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Aphrodisiac'[
]. It is used in the treatment of depression, nervous tension, impotence, frigidity, menstrual disorders and weak digestion[
An essential oil from the flowers is used in perfumery[
]. The flowers are picked soon after opening each morning and used fresh for oil extraction[
]. There are over 100 constituents of the oil including benzyl acetate, linalool, phenylacetic acid, benzyl alcohol, farnesol, cis-jasmone, methyl jasmonate, among others[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame. Very easy.
Cuttings of mature wood in late autumn.