The myriad of flowers with five petals never ceases to amaze me, and Star Jasmine is another one of them that I have in my garden. Scientifically named Trachelospermum jasminoides, it is also known as confederate jasmine, southern jasmine, and Chinese star jasmine and it belongs to the Apocynaceae (dogbane) family.
Star Jasmine is an evergreen climbing and twining vine that can grow to incredible heights, although it needs support to do so, and hence you do need to attach it to something and provide it with a little guidance as it grows. Plant it at the base of a fence made of wire and in just a few short years, it will cover it completely. Apparently, it can even be kept as a ground cover, though I’ve never seen it planted in that way and make for spectacular container plants.
Not wanting to cover my fence with a single plant, I have my Star Jasmine in a pot. It does seem to be happy enough and I’m delighted mine has just started to bloom. It’s covered in masses of buds and I wish I could get outside and take more photos of it.
Alas, Mother Nature has other ideas at the moment.
I started writing this post five days ago, thinking I would get a chance to take more photos, but I don’t think that’s going to happen, not in a hurry anyway. While our farmers out west are praying for rain to arrive, we’re sitting here on the south-east coast of Queensland wishing it would go away. (Almost.) We’ve had 241 mm (9.48 inches) of rain so far this month, with 217+ of that falling in the last 10 days (8.54 inches). It’s been relentless over the last five days with totals ranging from 27 mm to 53 mm (1.06 – 2.08 inches) and that doesn’t even include the absolute deluge we were hit with this morning at around 4:00 am. It was so heavy it woke me up – and I sleep with earplugs in so I don’t have to listen to Dean cutting wood all night.
When I did get out of bed, I heard on the radio that a slow-moving low-pressure system had formed in the area and was responsible for today’s crazy conditions.
Hopefully, there will be a clear day soon and I can take my camera ‘out for a spin’. In the meantime, you’ll just have to enjoy the photos I have taken. I don’t think they’re the best, but they are the best of a bad bunch and all I have for now.
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When Sar Jasmine is in full flower, its perfume is strong and, at times, it can be a little too intoxicating for some. I don’t feel that way about it, and in one home we owned, I grew it on the arch/arbour over the front gate. The house faced east and the sea breeze caught that sweet perfume and filled our home with it.
The pot I have my current plant in is well-positioned so it too can catch a light breeze and naturally perfume our home with that gorgeous sweet fragrance. I don’t find it surprising that these little flowers are used to produce a valuable oil used in high-end perfumes.
Star Jasmine has dark green, leathery leaves that are quite glossy and rather attractive. New growth both precedes and follows the flowers and is lime green, giving the plant a stunning two-tone effect at the time of the year when it blooms. Regardless of where you are in the world, Star Jasmine flowers in late Spring through to Summer. Here in Australia, that’s October through to December.
Star Jasmine is sometimes unfairly accused of being allergenic, but unlike other species – Jasminum polyanthum in particular, a known allergen – Star Jasmine is on the Asthma Foundation’s list of non-allergenic plants safe for asthma and hayfever sufferers. Our daughter Shelley suffered from asthma when she was little, and I knew back then, this plant didn’t do her any harm.
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Finally, one last photo for perspective, and no, I do not have giant man hands.
After saying I’d never seen Star Jasmine used as a ground cover, I spotted it in many garden beds in the Caloundra town centre when out shopping on Saturday. It looked amazing and I was sorry I didn’t have my camera with me – but only briefly, as it was still raining.