Elegant and fragrant, Jasmine flowers are one of the garden’s most delightful plants. Also suitable for indoor cultivation these attractive blooms are unsurprisingly popular with gardeners and pollinators alike. But did you know that there is more than one type of flower?
These attractive plants actually come in a range of shapes and sizes as well as producing blooms in a range of colors. If you want to learn more about the different types of jasmine flowers, this article is for you. As well as highlighting some of the most attractive varieties we will share care and planting tips, explaining exactly why you should add jasmine flowers to your home or garden today.
The pink buds and white blooms of Jasminum Polyanthum.
What are Jasmine Flowers?
One of the most fragrant plants in the garden, these graceful plants belong to the Jasminum genus. This is part of the Oleaceae family alongside forsythia bushes, lilac and olive plants.
The Jasminum genus contains over 200 different varieties, some of which are vining plants while others have a shrub or small tree like growth habit. The vast majority of these plants are native to the warmer or tropical areas of Europe, Asia and Australasia.
Today, Jasminum plants are commonly used for both perfumery and medicinal purposes. The roots of the plants, once dried, can be used to make sedatives. The blooms are used to flavor tea and produce essential oils. In India the plants are popular symbols of luck and hope. In other countries, including Pakistan and Indonesia, certain Jasminum cultivars are considered to be national flowers.
The Difference Between True and False Jasmine Flowers
There are a number of plants, usually shrubs, that are not actually members of the Jasminum genus. Typically these plants share many of the same characteristics including producing masses of fragrant blooms. However, they often have widely different care needs and growth habits to true jasmine flowers. These are known as false jasmine flowers.
Amongst the more commonly grown false jasmine flowers is Trachelospermum Asiaticum. Hardy in USDA Zones 8 to 10, this is a sun loving plant that provides year round interest. For a long time people have debated whether Trachelospermum Asiaticum plants are true members of the Jasminum genus or not. Currently, the plans are classified as members of the Oleander family.
Native to China and Japan, Trachelospermum Asiaticum is pleasingly easy to grow and low maintenance. This makes it ideal for novice gardeners. During the spring and summer months, the plants produce leathery dark green foliage and star shaped white blooms. Emerging in tight clusters, these fragrant blooms turn from white to a richer cream shade as they mature.
Night Blooming Jasmine, or Cestrum Nocturnum, is another of the more reliable false shrubs. A member of the nightshade family, along with tomatoes and peppers, Cestrum Nocturnum is native to the West Indies and tropical parts of America. Producing oval shaped leaves and small, white-green blooms the plants are at their best during the spring and fall, filling the evening air with their sweet fragrance.
One of the most attractive false jasmine flowers is Gardenia Jasminoides. Also known as Cape Jasmines, these specimens are at their best during the summer months, producing dark green leaves and gardenia like white blooms. As well as producing fussier blooms, the leaves of the Gardenia Jasminoides are far thicker than most Jasminum cultivars. Hardy in USDA Zones 6 to 11 these plants prefer warm conditions and lots of regular water. One of the more high maintenance false shrubs, Gardenia Jasminoides are pleasingly versatile. They are also an ideal choice for flower beds, hedging and screening.
While false shrubs such as Gardenia Jasminoides are just as attractive as true Jasminum cultivars, their care needs and growth habits can differ.
While false plants are attractive additions to the garden, they do not provide the elegance and fragrance of true jasmine flowers.
1 Jasminum Officinale
Officially known as Jasminum officinale, these plants are the most commonly grown of all the jasmine flowers. As well as a popular choice for home growers, common jasmine flowers are also cultivated commercially to produce essential oils.
The national flower of Pakistan, these attractive plants are popular for their rich, intense fragrance. Also known as Poet’s or Summer Jasmine, Jasminum officinale is hardy in USDA Zones 7 to 10.
Best planted in full or partial sun positions, these deciduous climbing plants produce the typical five-petaled pure white flowers during the late spring or early summer. While the blooms last until the start of fall, the plants are at their most prolific during the warm summer months. You can also encourage common jasmine flowers to emerge at other times of the year by growing undercover in a place where the temperature can be easily controlled such as a greenhouse or in your home.
In the right conditions Jasminum officinale blooms are an elegant way to decorate a pergola, archway or entrance. However, the plants require regular pruning to keep their bushy growth habit under control. As well as a fast growth habit, fully mature common jasmine flowers can achieve a height and spread of 15 ft.
Jasminum officinale is both attractive and fragrant.
2 Jasminum Grandiflorum
Jasminum grandiflorum, also known as royal, Spanish or Catalonia jasmine flowers from late spring until the first frosts of fall. A full sun loving variety, the plants can also be planted in partial sun, but growth and flowering may not be as profuse. A long lasting variety, with the right care Jasminum grandiflorum is hardy in USDA Zones 7 to 10.
Jasminum grandiflorum is a subset of the Jasminum officinale genus. Unlike the common jasmine flowers, which are commercially grown to produce essential oils and perfumes, Jasminum grandiflorum blooms are more commonly used in the food industry. The flowers can also be used in perfume production.
Like Jasminum officinale, Jasminum grandiflorum produces the typical pure white jasmine flowers. These emerge on vines that are semi-evergreen in colder climates or evergreen in USDA Zones 9 and warmer. Sharing many of the same growing needs and preferences as Jasminum officinale, Jasminum grandiflorum has a slightly smaller growth habit than Jasminum officinale, typically achieving a height and spread of around 10 ft.
The distinctive white blooms of Jasminum Grandiflorum.
3 Jasminum Nudiflorum
One of the earliest plants to start flowering, Jasminum nudiflorum or winter jasmine flowers in the depths of winter.
Popular for its bright, yellow flowers, Jasminum nudiflorum blooms may have the same small, pointy petals as other jasmine flowers, albeit in a different color, but they lack the distinctive fragrance of other varieties.
A decorative shrub, these plants are hardy in USDA Zones 6 to 9. Thriving in full or partial sun, Jasminum nudiflorum can reach a height of 7 ft and a spread of around 4 ft. A low maintenance shrub, Jasminum nudiflorum plants are a great choice if you want to add early season color to the garden. These elegant vines are also ideal for growing along trellises, wall-side borders or providing ground cover in areas where soil erosion is a problem.
The yellow flowers of the Jasminum nudiflorum plant.
4 Jasminum Sambac
Native to the Arab Peninsula, Jasminum sambac or Arabian jasmine flowers are at their best in warm climates.
Hardy in USDA Zones 9 to 12, gardeners in cooler climates will have more success growing the plants undercover. Like other Jasminum plants, Jasminum sambac does best in full or partial sun positions.
The glossy dark foliage of Jasminum sambac provides an ideal backdrop to showcase the plant’s multilayered blooms. Flowering during the warmest, summer months, these attractive blooms turn a pale shade of pink as they mature. Ideal for training vertically the plants can also be grown in pots or containers on a sunny patio. In warm areas the lush evergreen vines can be trained along fencing or trellising, helping to increase or soften your garden privacy solutions.
Typically Jasminum sambac plants are compact shrubs with a height and spread of between 4 and 6 ft. In some conditions the plants can reach up to 10 ft. However, regular pruning helps to curtail the spread.
Jasminum sambac is considered to be the national flower of both Indonesia and the Philippines. In some states, including Florida the plant is classed as a class II exotic invasive species. However in other areas, such as Hawaii, Arabian jasmine flowers are incredibly popular, and are commonly used to make herbal tea.
The multi-layered flower of the Jasminum sambac plant.
5 Jasminum Parkeri
A reliable dwarf cultivar Jasminum parkeri is prized for its low growth habit. This makes it an ideal variety for planting in pots and planters.
Flowering in the summer, Jasminum parkeri plants are at their best in partial or full sun positions. Here the plants produce flowering clumps of small, five petaled fragrant yellow blooms. As the blooms fade small green berries emerge.
Native to India, Jasminum parkeri can withstand temperatures down to 14 ℉, meaning that it is considered evergreen and hardy in USDA Zones 6 to 10. However, prolonged exposure to cold temperatures may cause the plants to suffer from some foliage damage or stem dieback. Growers in cooler climates are advised to plant Jasminum parkeri in pots, moving them undercover during the winter months. Placing pots on a Homenote Metal Plant Caddy enables you to move sensitive plants undercover as summer temperatures start to fall. Once the last frost has passed and the spring temperatures start to increase, the plants can simply be wheeled back to their favorite sunny spot.
A popular cut flower, Jasmium parkeri’s small stems are easily pruned and trained. This has helped to make the plant a popular choice for topiary enthusiasts.
Jasminum parkeri is a yellow blooming variety.
6 Jasminum Fruticans
Jasminum fruticans or the common yellow jasmine is, as the name suggests, another yellow flowering variety. A small semi-evergreen shrub, the plant’s yellow, fragrant blooms fade as fall arrives to be replaced by glossy black berries. These continue to provide interest throughout the winter months.
Once established Jasminum fruticans is pleasingly drought tolerant. Thriving in well draining soil and full or partial sun, mulch the base of the plant to protect the root system from winter frosts. With just a little protection the plants are hardy in USDA Zones 6 to 10.
Native to the Mediterranean, yellow jasmine flowers look particularly attractive when paired with other heat loving plants such as lavender and salvias. A mature Jasminum fruticans plant can reach around 6.5 ft in height. Regular pruning, once flowering has finished, helps to keep the plant in shape.
These attractive shrubs produce bright, yellow blooms.
7 Jasminum Polyanthum
Jasminum polyanthum is one of the fastest growing varieties. Prized for its prolific flowering habit, this plant produces masses of pink buds and pink-white or pink flowers, Jasminum polyanthum plants are at their best when planted in a full sun or partial shade position.
Capable of exceeding 25 ft in height, Jasminum polyanthum plants are ideal for training along a trellis or structure. They can also be allowed to spread over the soil, providing lots of colorful groundcover. If you do want to train your Jasminum polyanthum to grow along a structure you will need to secure it with a Soft Plant Tie, these are not naturally clinging vines.
Originating in China, Jasminum polyanthum plants are hardy in USDA Zones 8 to 11. These are strong, fragrant exotic vines that start flowering in late winter and continue well into summer. In warm climates the plants flower throughout the year.
Best planted in well draining soil in a frost free position, Jasminum polyanthum is one of the best low maintenance jasmine flowers. Just remember to prune them regularly to prevent the growth becoming overcrowded. As well as being unsightly, allowing the foliage and stems to become overcrowded can cause diseases such as powdery mildew to develop. Luckily this is easily treated.
8 Jasminum Mesnyi
Despite its many attractions, Jasminum mesnyi, sometimes known as primrose, Japanese or Chinese jasmine, is a rare sight in the United States. When in flower, the plant’s eye-catching semi-double pale yellow blooms sit above oval, evergreen foliage. As the flowers fade, black berries emerge.
These attractive plants are hardy in USDA Zones 8 to 11. Thriving in both full and partial sun positions, these resilient shrubs produce large yellow blooms during the spring and early summer. A scrambling shrub, capable of reaching a height and spread of between 2 and 6 ft depending on the growing conditions, without regular pruning Jasminum mesnyi can develop an overly sprawling growth habit. Apart from requiring regular pruning, once established these are pleasingly drought tolerant and low maintenance specimens.
An attractive shrub which is native to Southern China and Vietnam the plants are naturalised in some southern U.S. states and Central America.
The cheery yellow blooms of the Jasminum mesnyi cultivar.
9 Angel Wing
One of the most eye-catching Jasminum plants, angel wing or Jasminum nitidum, produces large, fragrant white blooms with eye-catching purple undersides. This has given the plant its other name of Shining Jasmine. A good choice for a flowering evergreen, the glossy foliage of Jasminum nitidum looks particularly attractive when spilling out of containers. It can also be used to plug the sometimes difficult gaps between other shrubs.
Native to the Admiralty Islands of Papua New Guinea, angel wing plants are naturalized in some states, including Florida. Hardy in USDA Zones 10 and 11, gardeners in the warmer parts of zone 9 will also have some success with these plants, particularly if planted in partial or full sun. Otherwise angel wing plants are best grown undercover or in containers. The latter option enables you to move them to a sheltered position during the winter months.
A great way to fill difficult gaps, the trailing vines of Jasminum nitidum also provides attractive groundcover. A reliable shrub, despite regular pruning, can typically achieve a height of around 9 ft and a spread of up to 4 ft.
The flat, elongated petals of the angel wing plant.
10 Jasminum Humile
Also known as Jasminum humile, the Italian variety is prized for its bright yellow, fragrant blooms. Sitting against a backdrop of glossy green foliage, as the flowers fade shiny black berries emerge.
Commonly cultivated as a shrub, Italian jasmine flowers are one of the easiest Jasminium cultivars to grow. Requiring little regular care the plants are hardy in USDA Zones 7 to 10. Despite being relatively quick growing it can take between 5 and 10 years for the plants to achieve their mature height of between 12 and 15 ft.
Native to parts of western China, Jasminum humile plants were imported to the United States because of their ornamental interest. Popular with both bees and hummingbirds these reliable plants begin flowering in May and continue well into the fall. Flowering is more profuse, and the foliage glossier, when planted in full sun, however Jasminum humile can also be cultivated in partial shade positions.
The Revolutum cultivar is a particularly attractive specimen. Thriving in a range of soil profiles, Revolutum can be grown as either a free standing specimen shrub in a flower bed or trained to grow along a fence or trellis covered structure. .
Whichever variety you choose, jasmine flowers fill your garden with color, fragrance and long lasting interest.
Whatever type of Jasminum plant you decide to grow you will find that, despite their exotic appearance, these are largely low maintenance, easy to grow specimens. Many have a pleasing climbing habit, making them ideal for training up a trellis or fence. You can also plant in hanging baskets, allowing the flower filled vines to drape, elegantly down. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor cultivation, wherever you are growing your Jasminum plants always try to place them in well draining soil in a warm and, if they are outside, sheltered position. This helps to keep the plants healthy and productive.
Like the honeysuckle, jasmine flowers are both fragrant and colorful. Now that you have experienced some of the most attractive jasmine flowers, which variety, or varieties will you add to your garden?.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.