Jasmine 'Officinale', or common Jasmine, is a lovely vigorous deciduous climber with delicate pinnate dark green foliage and large clusters of pretty, heavily scented white flowers from summer to early autumn.
It prefers a well drained soil but is not particular about pH and can cope with long dry spells. It is tender but, if planted in a sunny, sheltered spot, on a south or south-west facing wall, it will survive quite cold winters. Spreading in all directions quite quickly it will need hard pruning to remove dead and over crowded stems.
Jasminum 'Officinale' is a really beautiful climber that is perfect for growing in a sheltered sunny site where the delicious sweetly perfumed flowers can be enjoyed all summer.
It is vigorous and quickly grows to 12m and will cover a porch, an arch, a shed or a tree stump with lovely pinnate dark green leaves and large quantities of white flower clusters. It associates well with climbing roses, clematis and honeysuckle but is equally attractive as a specimen.
It can survive quite long dry spells and needs well-drained soil so will do very well planted against a wall. If growing the climber in a small garden it is best to plant it in a large pot that will keep the growth within bounds.
Jasminum 'Officinale' is disease and pest free but may suffer wind damage and overcrowding of stems. It should be pruned hard just after flowering when any dead wood can be removed and the stems thinned.
The origins of Jasminum 'Officinale' have been lost in time although it was mentioned in ancient Chinese texts and recorded in herbals in London as early as 1548. It is commonly found in temperate regions of Europe, Asia and Africa.
It is the national flower of Pakistan and used extensively in India where it is of cultural and religious significance and used in the celebration of marriages and during festivals. Jasmine vendors can be seen all over India outside of temples, in the streets and around business centres selling large bunches of the sweet smelling flowers. It is, of course, used in the far East for making Jasmine Tea when the flowers are processed with green or white tea for days until the tea takes on the delicious scent.
The flowers are also used for the production of aromatherapy oil, called the 'King of Oils' it has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.