Jasmine (Jasminum) is a mainly climbing evergreen plant. The term derives from the Persian "ya-samin" (white flower) and for the Arab tradition it is the king of flowers, so important as to perfume the Islamic paradise. Symbol of Damascus, known as "city of jasmine", it is also the national flower of Indonesia and the Philippines. The origins of jasmine are so ancient that traces of it were found in the sarcophagus of an Egyptian pharaoh buried in Deir-el-Bahri. Appeared in Italy in the 15th century by the Turks, Cosimo I de 'Medici was the first owner of jasmine in our country, a primacy jealously guarded, but in vain, by the Florentine lord. In the rest of the European continent jasmine appeared between 1524 and 1528 thanks to Spanish and Portuguese navigators, in particular Vasco de Gama who came into possession of it during his travels in the East Indies. Its mass spread dates back to 1730 when England came into possession of a Malabar jasmine.
Species: of the approximately 200 known the most common are:
POLYANTHUM: this species is native to China and blooms from winter until spring with fragrant white flowers tinged with pink.
NUDIFLORUM: known as "St. Joseph's jasmine", this species from China blooms on bare branches at the end of winter, with unscented yellow flowers. It grows as a climber and if deprived of the supports it falls on itself and takes the form of a bush.
PRIMULINUM: like the previous species, it originates from China with yellow flowers, without perfume. It reaches 3 m and tolerates cold and drought quite a lot, it also adapts to partial shade, therefore it is optimal for pot cultivation.
OFFICINALIS: better known as "white jasmine", it is the most widespread in Europe and originates in India, China and Iran. It has deciduous leaves, lanceolate and white flowers with five very fragrant petals that bloom from June to September. It can reach a height of 15 m and is therefore particularly suitable as a climber.
GRANDIFLORUM: famous as "jasmine of Spain" it has a shrub shape, with rather tortuous branches from here the most fragrant flowers of all the jasmine species depart, and for this reason it is the most used by the perfume industry. It prefers mild climates and can reach 6 m in height.