By: Jackie Carroll
Thoughts of jasmine call to mind summer evenings scented with a heady, floral fragrance that seems to hang in the air. While some varieties of jasmine plants are among the most fragrant plants you can grow, not all are scented. Read on to find out about the different jasmine varieties and their characteristics.
Jasmine Plant Types
Below are some of the most common jasmine vines grown in the landscape or in the home:
- Common jasmine (Jasminum officinale), sometimes called poet’s jasmine, is one of the most fragrant types of jasmine. The intensely fragrant flowers bloom throughout the summer and into the fall. Expect the plant to grow 12 to 24 inches (30-61 cm.) each year, eventually reaching a height of 10 to 15 feet (3-4.5 m.). Common jasmine is perfect for archways and entryways. They need frequent pinching and pruning to keep them bushy but in control.
- Showy jasmine (J. floridum) seems misnamed because the little 1-inch (2.5 cm.) flowers that bloom in spring aren’t very showy at all. It is grown primarily for its foliage, which does a good job of covering a trellis or arbor.
- Spanish jasmine (J. grandiflorum), also known as royal or Catalonian jasmine, has fragrant, white flowers that are about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm.) apart. The vine is evergreen in frost-free areas but semi-evergreen and deciduous in cooler areas. This is one of the most cultivated types of jasmine.
The most common types of jasmine are vines, but there are some varieties that you can grow as shrubs or ground covers.
- Arabic jasmine (J. sambac) is an evergreen shrub with intensely fragrant flowers. It grows 5 to 6 feet (1.5-1.8 m.) tall. This is the type of jasmine used for tea.
- Italian jasmine (J. humile) can be grown as a vine or a shrub. When not attached to a trellis, it forms a dense, mounded shape as much as 10 feet (3 m.) wide. The plant also tolerates pruning into a shrub.
- Winter jasmine (J. nudiflorum) is a shrub that grows 4 feet (1.2 m.) wide and 7 feet (2 m.) tall. The yellow flowers on this deciduous shrub aren’t fragrant, but it has the advantage of blooming in late winter, providing early season color. Winter jasmine gives good erosion protection on banks. If left to its own devices, it takes root wherever the branches touch the ground.
- Primrose jasmine (J. mesnyi) is seldom grown in the United States. This shrub produces yellow flowers that are larger than most varieties—as much as 2 inches (5 cm.) in diameter.
- Asian Star jasmine (Trachelospermum asiaticum) is usually grown as a tough ground cover. It has small, pale-yellow flowers and large, dense leaves.
This article was last updated on
The Jasmine is a very popular flower around the world especially in the tropics because of its unique fragrance. The Jasmine is native to tropical and warm or temperate regions of the old world.
The Jasmine flowers are white in most species, with some species being yellow. The Jasmine is believed to have originated in the Himalayas in western China.
Kingdom Plantae Division Magnoliophyta Class Magnoliopsida Order Lamiales Family Oleaceae Genus Jasminum
Unlike most genera in the Oleceae family, which have four corolla lobe petals, Jasmines often have five or six lobes. Jasmines are often strong and sweet scented. Jasmines are widely cultivated for their shining leaves and beautiful clusters of fragrant flowers.
Flowering in Jasmines takes place in summer or spring which is usally six months after planting. The Jasmine flower releases its fragrance at night after the sun has set and especially when the moon is waxing towards fullness. Jasmine flower buds are more fragrant than the flowers.
There exists a true Jasmine and a false Jasmine, and the two are commonly mistaken for each other because of the fragrance the plants release. The true Jasmine belongs to the family Oleaceae and is primarily a bushy shrub or a climbing vine and is non-poisonous.
True Jasmines have oval, shiny leaves and tubular, waxy-white flowers. The false Jasmine on the other hand is in a completely different genus, Gelsemium, and family, Loganiaceae, which is considered too poisonous for human consumption.
7 Different Varieties of Jasmine
Jasmine is a popular plant which is very versatile and grows in a wide range of different conditions. There are a large number of different types of Jasmine, some which grow best in certain regions. Take a look at some of the most popular types of Jasmine.
1. Common Jasmine
As the name suggests this is the most common type of jasmine and is also known as poet's Jasmine. This plant has white flowers and normally grows in Iran. Most perfumes are made using the oils extracted from common jasmine.
2. Winter Jasmine
Winter jasmine is grown in China and has yellow flowers. This plant offers good coverage and grows very well on hillsides.
3. Jasmine Sambac
Jasmine sambac is also known as Arabian Jasmine this is an edible variety of the plant and can be used to make herbal teas and drinks.
4. Jasmine Angulare
This is native to South Africa and is evergreen it will only grow in coastal areas. The jasmine will bloom during the summer. It has white flowers.
5. Spanish Jasmine
This plant is a semi-evergreen plant and it has very fragrant flowers.
6. Italian Jasmine
This is a climbing variety of Jasmine which can climb as high as 20 feet. The plant has lots of yellow fragrant flowers.
7. Primrose Jasmine
Primrose Jasmine is an evergreen shrub which has yellow flowers, however, these aren't as scented as other varieties.
Planting Jasmine Flowers
Planting jasmine is easy. Just follow these simple tips.
- When to plant jasmine – Plant jasmine bushes any time between June and November.
- Where to plant jasmine – Jasmine will grow well in full sun to partial shaded areas. Summer-flowering jasmine does better in a sunny spot, while other varieties, such as winter jasmine, like a more shaded area.
- Soils that jasmine thrive in – Jasmine needs well-drained but moist, moderately fertile sandy loamy soil.
- Supports for jasmine – If planting a twining vine variety and wanting jasmine to climb, the plant will need a support structure. A trellis or fence will both work.
- How to space jasmine – Jasmine should be planted at least 8 feet, sometimes more depending on variety, apart to accommodate for its future root growth, as it will grow tremendously and does not like to be crowded.
- How deep to plant – Dig a hole for the jasmine that is just deep enough so the plant will rest at the same level in the ground as it was when it was in the pot. It doesn’t need to be planted in a deep hole.
The main jasmine plant lower classifications are:
Though it’s called the Arabian Jasmine, it’s not originally native to Arabia. Jasminum sambac, as it’s known in the scientific community, is native to Asia.
Common Jasmine is a sweet-smelling flowering plant that blooms throughout summer and fall. It’s also known as Jasminum officinale and is the national flower of Pakistan.
Jasminum polyanthum, also known as pink jasmine or white jasmine can grow up to 20 feet tall and is a common house plant.
Jasminum nudiflorum, the winter jasmine, is similar in appearance to the white Jasmine. But, the flowers of this Jasmine are yellow in color.
It has white flowers that have a unique and sweet smell. Other names are the Spanish jasmine, Royal jasmine, and Catalan jasmine.
Jasminum multiflorum or the Star Jasmine blossoms the most flowers out of all the different types of Jasmines. It blooms so much that it sometimes covers itself completely in flowers.
Jasminum multiflorum is native to India, Nepal, Bhutan, Laos, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam.
Jasminum fruticans or the wild jasmine has yellow flowers and is a small shrub growing up to a 1m. It’s native to the Mediterranean. It has odorless yellow flowers.
This jasmine plant is also known as the lemon-scented jasmine. It produces white star-shaped flowers and lemon-green foliage.
This jasmine plant is also known as the forest jasmine because it grows in high-altitude montane forests way up high on canopies.
Jasminum abyssinicum (Forest Jasmine) is a strong to slender, woody climber with stems that can be robust up to 5.2 inches.
Jasminum auriculatum is a species of jasmine found in India. It’s mainly grown for its essential oil and for decorative purposes.
Jasminum humile, the Italian jasmine or yellow jasmine produces yellow flowers.
Jasminum humile ‘Revolutum’ is a semi-evergreen shrub producing clusters of bright yellow, fragrant flowers from late spring to early autumn. It can be grown on a wide range of soils, but it does need to be well-drained.
Jasminum subtriplinerve is mainly cultivated for its leaves which make a drink in Vietnam.
Jasminum multipartitum or the starry wild jasmine is a mass bloomer that is known for its white, scented, star-shaped flowers. The flowers attract a variety of birds.
Perfect for a conservatory, sun room or ornamental greenhouse, tender Jasminum multipartitum is more of a shrub than a climber, bearing large, star-shaped flowers.
Jasminium dichotomum, the Gold Coast jasmine, is a species of jasmine whose flowers open up at night. The flowers start pink and gradually change to white.
9 types of jasmine
Jasminum officinale or common jasmine
The common jasmine, also known colloquially as white jasmine is one of the most cultivated species. It consists of bouquets of white flowers and very perfumed ideal for planting both soil and pot. It needs a regular watering and an annual pruning to improve its growth and flowering. It prefers areas with sun and can not stand frost well. This species is used for infusions thanks to its properties against anxiety and stress.
Solanum jasminoides or false jasmine
This evergreen climbing shrub withstands temperature changes, so we will not have to protect it from frost, as with other types of jasmine. Their stems can reach up to five meters long and their leaves are dark green. The period of flowering of the false jasmine begins in spring with groups of terminal flowers of lilac, bluish or white.
Gardenia jasminoide or Cape Jasmine
This bush type jasmine is one of the most used for indoor growing. Very recognizable thanks to its large solitary flowers, because they are more isolated than in other types of jasmine that are in bouquets, which are white and perfumed. This plant, in addition, has medium-sized and elongated leaves. Its flowering time is in summer. The cape jasmine prefers acidic soils and a humid environment so requires constant irrigation.
Trachelospermum jasminoides or star jasmine
It is also known as milk jasmine and also as others, false jasmine . It comes from East Asia, specifically from China and Japan. This jasmine with woody stems and bright leaves is found within the types of climbing jasmine , widely used to cover lattices and decorate walls for its abundant and perfumed flowering. Prefers the sunny areas or with semi-shade to grow and agrees, with the arrival of frost protect them as much as possible.
Jasminum azoricum or jasmine of the Azores
This jasmine also belongs to the types of climbing jasmine. Its leaves are perennial and its white flowers are star-shaped and very aromatic. Its flowering season occurs in spring and prefers sunny areas. The jasmine of the Azores does not resist frost well, so it is recommended to protect it from the cold. It is also highly recommended to use guides during their growth to give a more rigid support until the stems are more woody.
Jasminum nudiflorum or yellow jasmine
Originally from Tibet, this species of jasmine is very easy to recognize thanks to its six-petalled flowers and its intense yellow color. Unlike most jasmine, yellow jasmine does not emit any odor. It is easy to maintain since it does not require constant watering and prefers sunny sites to grow. Another species commonly known in many places as yellow jasmine is the so-called Jasminum mesnyi and is endemic to China.
Jasminum grandiflorum or royal jasmine
Another type of jasmine creeper is the royal jasmine , one of the best known and used. Coming from Arabia, it is also known as Spanish jasmine and is perennial. In addition, it can reach up to ten meters high and its flowers up to five centimeters. With a long period of flowering that starts in summer and reaches early winter with white flowers and very fragrant. It is a species quite resistant to droughts.
Jasmine polyanthum or Chinese jasmine
From China, hence its common name, belongs to the climber-type jasmine that can reach up to five meters in height. Its leaves are dark green and its stem is thin. Widely used to cover pergolas, walls and other surfaces, it has a spectacular flowering in spring. These have the colors of jasmine and a pleasant aroma. About the cultivation of jasmine of this type, you should take into account that the Chinese jasmine prefers moist and semi-shade areas. It can also be planted in a pot.
Stephanotis floribunda or Jasmine from Madagascar
To finish we talk about Madagascar jasmine , which has some flowers different from the rest. It is a type of jasmine with long leaves and something broad and intense green. Its flowers are white, very perfumed and larger than those of other species and somewhat elongated, with a slightly flared shape. This plant blooms in spring and the flowers can last until autumn if it is a good weather zone.
Q: Is jasmine evergreen?
A: Common jasmine is deciduous. However, other varieties of jasmine are evergreen, such as White Jasmine.
Q: How tall does jasmine grow?
A: Jasmine plants will typically grow to a height of 4-5m (or 15 feet for any American readers!)
Q: Is jasmine a flower?
A: Jasmine generally refers to a variety of different plants that do have flowers.
Q: Why do jasmine leaves turn yellow?
A: Jasmine leaves turning yellow usually has one of two causes either you’re watering improperly (overwatering is just as bad as underwatering). The second possibility is that your soil nutrients are off. If jasmine is lacking certain nutrients you can end up with yellow leaves.
Q: What grows well with jasmine?
A: The best plants to grow with jasmine have the same soil, light and watering requirements. In addition, pick something that contrasts the colours of jasmine. If your plant has white flowers, think about something with bright flowers.
Q: Why does jasmine have white spots?
A: White spots on your jasmine plant could be a couple of different things. Sometimes it’s a disease called powdery mildew and that needs to be treated with a fungicide. Sometimes the white spots are actually pests and these can be dealt with as per the instructions in this guide.
Q: Can jasmine grow in shade?
A: It really depends on the variety you’re growing. While they are hardy, some varieties prefer full shade, while others prefer partial shade.
Q: Can jasmine grow in full sun?
A: Yes, all varieties of jasmine can grow in full sun. While they may be a little pickier about whether they like full or partial shade, they all can handle growing well in full sun.
Q: Can jasmine be used as ground cover?
A: Common jasmine and similar varieties are generally not used for ground cover. However, other varieties (some which aren’t actually jasmine) can be used for ground cover successfully, such as star jasmine.
Q: Will jasmine root in water?
A: Yes, you can root jasmine in water, even if it’s not the best method for propagation. While rooting jasmine in water will result in some growth, it tends to be a bit slow, so if you’re doing it to get a fully grown jasmine plant, then you’re better off using one of the methods outlined above in the guide.
Q: Can jasmine poison cats?
A: No, jasmine plants such as common jasmine or white jasmine are not toxic to cats, dogs or horses. That said, there are lots of species of plants that have jasmine in their name that aren’t actually jasmine, so it’s best to check your specific variety.
Q: Which jasmine smells the best?
A: This comes down to pure preference, but here we think that common jasmine and Italian jasmine (both mentioned in the guide above) are the best smelling. Get your hands on a few varieties and find out for yourself!
Q: When does jasmine bloom?
A: Jasmine typically begins to bloom in Spring and continues into Autumn. That said, different varieties bloom for different periods and at different times, so to give you a better answer we’d really need to know the specific plant.
Q: Why do jasmine leaves turn brown?
A: Jasmine leaves typically turn brown as an indication of poor watering habits. You can think of it as the plant’s way of telling you that it’s thirsty. If your plant has brown leaves, then you’ll want to water the plant more often and probably more thoroughly as well.