Jasmine - Plants, Flowers And Uses
The Plants With Exotic Flowers
Jasmine is a shrub with about two hundred varieties which are mostly grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Many of the species are climbers, but there are also those which are strong enough not to be climbers.
Most of the jasmine species I have seen have many similar features in their appearance. The leaves look almost the same for different plants and the flowers are small, highly fragrant and white. However, there are few differences you can observe in the flowers of different varieties.
Some jasmine flowers have thin petals and some have comparatively large and wide petals, but they are always small for all species. You can also observe a slight colour difference in different variety of jasmine flowers, some flowers being purely white and some with an off white colour.
Apparently there are slight pink and orange jasmine flowers too. I have seen the orange variety in someone's garden and I tried to grow them once without much success. Most of the jasmine flowers are highly fragrant, but here also there are exceptions. There are few varieties which do not have fragrance. Despite the minor differences all of them are beautiful and look really attractive in gardens.
Jasmine flowers represents love and happiness. So just like roses, they are beautiful flowers suitable for gifting!
Growing And Caring For Jasmine
Jasmine is commonly found in tropical regions and they can be easily grown in places with moderate to warm temperatures. You can grow them either in your outdoor or indoor gardens. If you live in places with extreme cold or hot climates, you may need to use pots and move them inside your home, especially during winters. The plants are usually propagated from vine cuttings. So if you don’t have jasmines in your garden, you may need to get a new plant or the vine cuttings from someone who already grow them or you can buy the plants from the market.
I have grown them only from vine cuttings or using a new plant, but apparently you can grow them from the seeds available in the market too.
You can easily plant the cuttings directly in soil in your yard or you can plant them in pots. There are many varieties which do not grow big that can be easily grown in pots with little maintenance. You can even grow the bigger varieties in pots, if you manage to prune the plants as required to maintain the size and also to get rid of any damaged stems. You should not prune them once the flower buds are expected.
Water the plants daily when they are small. Once they are established you may not need to water them very often. I have easily grown the plants in my yard without the use of any fertilizers, but if you want you can use natural fertilizers like compost to produce more flowers. If you are planting the climber varieties, you may need to provide the support for climbing.
It depends on the variety of the jasmine to say how long it will take to produce flowers. There are varieties which starts flowering in few months and there are also varieties which may take up to 2 or 3 years to start flowering. They usually produce flowers during the spring season, but I had grown a variety of jasmine which flowered almost daily! So it all depends on the variety of jasmine you choose to plant.
Jasmines bloom at night, as they start to open the petals from the evening and the flowers usually last for a day. Again, there are jasmine varieties which produce flowers that do not fade for a few days.
Traditional Uses Of The Flowers
Jasmine is known for the beauty and fragrance of flowers, whatever the variety is. The picture of flowers I have added in the beginning and the picture of the plant shown above are of different species.
I am familiar with three varieties of jasmine flowers which are very commonly found and I have grown them in my garden. It is very common in South India to decorate with jasmine flowers during celebrations and religious ceremonies. Brides use them to decorate their hair during weddings. Women wear jasmine flowers for special occasions, and you can see that little girls wear them very often.
Jasmine flowers are also considered pure and divine and they are very often used in temples.
My mother used to make small garlands out of the jasmine flowers grown in our garden and put in my hair when I was a child, which I loved then. The below picture shows a woman wearing jasmine garland in her hair.
According to the description in image, this image is that of a young woman from 16th century and this art work is displayed in Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum in Europe.
Have you ever grown jasmine plants?
Jasmine Plant And Seeds
Jasmine Tea And Jasmine Oil
Jasmine tea is quite popular in China and Japan. It is usually produced by infusing dried jasmine flowers into green tea base. Jasmine tea has immense health benefits, and it is particularly known for its use to reduce stress and regulate blood pressure.
It has powerful antioxidants commonly known as catechins and they help reduce cholesterol and also improve cardiac health. Even though the tea is usually produced by mixing dried petals with green tea leaves, sometimes the petals are also infused with oolong tea leaves to produce jasmine flavored tea. This tea is also found helpful in reducing body fat and reducing symptoms of cold and flu.
Jasmine flowers are also used to produce essential oils which gives high fragrance. India, China and Egypt are known for its production of this oil.
Extracting jasmine oil is hard word and needs much labor since large number of flowers are needed to produce small amount of oil. Chemical extraction or manual extraction of the oil is used since the flowers are too delicate to go through the distillation process.
Jasmine oil is believed to be good for reducing problems related to sleep.
You can read here about the different types of jasmine teas available in the market and their related health benefits.
- Different Types Of Jasmine Teas And Their Health Benefits
Jasmine tea is one of the most popular herbal teas available in the market which has a very unique flavour with so much of goodness.
Green tea with jasmine
Jasmine Scented Oil
More About Jasmine
Jasmine flowers are admired for their elegance, simplicity and fragrance by people all around the world. They are generally used for decorations and gifting and they have specific meanings depending on the culture of different countries and their traditions.
India is one of the largest producers of jasmine and it is in Tamil Nadu, a South Indian state you can find most of the jasmine cultivation. People cultivate them in their own homes for domestic as well as commercial uses. You can probably find large number of local flower vendors selling jasmine along with other flowers in Tamil Nadu and other South Indian states. Usually these flowers are either made into garlands or sold loosely wrapped in lotus leaves which keep them fresh for hours.
In China, jasmine flower is considered as the symbol of kindness and it is also considered feminine. In Thailand, the flower relates to the joy of motherhood and usually gifted during mother’s day. It is no surprise that Jasmine is also the national flower of many Asian countries!
Here is a nice video from You Tube which explains how to care for jasmine plants to obtain best results.