Jasmine (taxonomic name Jasminum /ˈjæsmnəm/) is a genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family (Oleaceae). It contains around 200 species native to tropical and warm temperate regions of Eurasia, Australasia and Oceania. Jasmines are widely cultivated for the characteristic fragrance of their flowers. A number of unrelated plants contain the word "Jasmine" in their common names (see ).


Jasmine can be either deciduous (leaves falling in autumn) or evergreen (green all year round), and can be erect, spreading, or climbing shrubs and vines. Their leaves are borne, opposite or alternate. They can be simple, trifoliate, or pinnate. The flowers are typically around 2.5 cm (0.98 in) in diameter. They are white or yellow in color, although in rare instances they can be slightly reddish. The flowers are borne in cymose clusters with a minimum of three flowers, though they can also be solitary on the ends of branchlets. Each flower has about four to nine petals, two locules, and one to four ovules. They have two stamens with very short filaments. The bracts are linear or ovate. The calyx is bell-shaped. They are usually very fragrant. The fruits of jasmines are berries that turn black when ripe.

The basic chromosome number of the genus is 13, and most species are diploid (2n=26). However, natural polyploidy exists, particularly in Jasminum sambac (2n=39), Jasminum flexile (2n=52), Jasminum mesnyi (2n=39), and Jasminum angustifolium (2n=52).[6]

Distribution and habitat

Jasmines are native to tropical and subtropical regions of Eurasia, Australasia and Oceania, although only one of the 200 species is native to Europe.[7] Their center of diversity is in South Asia and Southeast Asia.[8]

A number of jasmine species have become naturalized in Mediterranean Europe. For example, the so-called Spanish jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum) was originally from Iran and western South Asia, and is now naturalized in the Iberian peninsula.[6]

Jasminum fluminense (which is sometimes known by the inaccurate name "Brazilian Jasmine") and Jasminum dichotomum (Gold Coast Jasmine) are invasive species in Hawaii and Florida.[9][10] Jasminum polyanthum, also known as White Jasmine, is an invasive weed in Australia.[11]


Species belonging to genus Jasminum are classified under the tribe Jasmineae of the olive family (Oleaceae).[6] Jasminum is divided into five sectionsAlternifolia, Jasminum, Primulina, Trifoliolata, and Unifoliolata.[5]

The genus name is derived from the Persian Yasameen ("gift from God") through Arabic and Latin.

Selected species

Species include:[12]

  • J. abyssinicum Hochst. ex DC. – forest jasmine
  • J. adenophyllum Wall. – bluegrape jasmine, pinwheel jasmine, princess jasmine
  • J. angulare Vahl
  • J. angustifolium (L.) Willd.
  • J. auriculatum Vahl – Indian hasmine, needle-flower jasmine
  • J. azoricum L.
  • J. beesianum Forrest & Diels – red jasmine
  • J. dichotomum Vahl – Gold Coast jasmine
  • J. didymum G.Forst.
  • J. dispermum Wall.
  • J. elegans Knobl.
  • J. elongatum (P.J.Bergius) Willd.
  • J. floridum Bunge
  • J. fluminense Vell.
  • J. fruticans L.
  • J. grandiflorum L. – Catalonian jasmine, jasmin odorant, royal jasmine, Spanish jasmine
  • J. humile L. – Italian jasmine, Italian yellow jasmine
  • J. anceolarium Roxb.
  • J. mesnyi Hance – Japanese jasmine, primrose jasmine, yellow jasmine
  • J. multiflorum (Burm.f.) Andrews – Indian jasmine, star jasmine, winter jasmine
  • J. multipartitum Hochst. – starry wild jasmine
  • J. nervosum Lour.
  • J. nobile C.B.Clarke
  • J. nudiflorum Lindl. – winter jasmine
  • J. odoratissimum L. – yellow jasmine
  • J. officinale L. – common jasmine, jasmine, jessamine, poet's jasmine, summer jasmine, white jasmine
  • J. parkeri Dunn – dwarf jasmine
  • J. polyanthum Franch.
  • J. sambac (L.) Aiton – Arabian jasmine, Sambac jasmine
  • J. simplicifolium G.Forst.
  • J. sinense Hemsl.
  • J. subhumile W.W.Sm.
  • J. subtriplinerve Blume
  • J. tortuosum Willd.
  • J. urophyllum Hemsl.

Cultivation and uses

Widely cultivated for its flowers, jasmine is enjoyed in the garden, as a house plant, and as cut flowers. The flowers are worn by women in their hair in southern and southeast Asia.

Jasmine tea

Jasmine tea is often consumed in China, where it is called jasmine-flower tea (茉莉花茶; pinyin: mò lì huā chá). Jasminum sambac flowers are also used to make jasmine tea, which often has a base of green tea or white tea, but sometimes an Oolong base is used. The flowers are put in machines that control temperature and humidity. It takes about four hours for the jasmine blossoms to absorb the fragrance and flavour. For the highest grades of jasmine tea, this process may be repeated up to seven times. It must be refired to prevent spoilage. The used flowers may be removed from the final product, as the flowers contain no more aroma. Giant fans are used to blow away and remove the petals from the denser tea leaves.

In Okinawa, Japan, jasmine tea is known as sanpin cha (さんぴん茶).


Jasmine gave name to the jasmonate plant hormones, as methyl jasmonate isolated from the oil of Jasminum grandiflorum led to the discovery of the molecular structure of jasmonates.[13]

Cultural importance

Madurai, a city in Tamil Nadu is famous for its jasmine production. In the western and southern states of India, including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, jasmine is cultivated in private homes. These flowers are used in worship and for hair ornaments. Jasmine is also cultivated commercially, for both the domestic and industrial uses, such as the perfume industry. It is used in rituals like marriages, religious ceremonies and festivals. In the Chandan Yatra of lord Jagannath, the deity is bathed with water flavoured with sandalwood and jasmine.

Jasmine flower vendors sell garlands of jasmine, or in the case of the thicker motiyaa (in Hindi) or mograa (in Marathi) varieties, bunches of jasmine are a common sight in many parts of India. They may be found around entrances to temples, on major thoroughfares, and in major business areas.

A change in presidency in Tunisia in 1987[16][18] and the Tunisian Revolution of 2011 are both called "Jasmine revolutions" in reference to the flower. Jasmine flowers were also used as a symbol during the 2011 Chinese pro-democracy protests in the People's Republic of China.

"Jasmine" is also a female forename.

Jasmine as a national flower

Several countries and states consider jasmines as a national symbol. They are the following:

Other plants called "Jasmine"