Botanical name: Jasminum sambac
Common name: Arabian jasmine
Family: Oleaceae (olive family)
Native of: India
Jasmine flower is also known as bunga melur in Malaysia, melati putih in Indonesia, mo li hua in chinese, sampaguita in the Phillipines and mallika in Indian (Sanskrit).
A beautiful and very fragrant flower much loved in many parts of Asia, the bunga melati putih was designated as one of the 3 National Flowers of Indonesia in conjunction with World Environment Day on June 5, 1990. Sampaguita is the national flower of the Philippines.
We grow jasmine in our gardens to enjoy its exotic fragrance. Flower buds open in the late evenings to fill the garden with a pure magical scent. We usually pluck the flowers in the mornings when the buds are still unopened. These flowers can be tied into garlands which are used to adorn religious altars and deities or to welcome guests. Jasmine flowers are also used in wedding ceremonies. For example in a traditional Javanese wedding, jasmine flowers are used to adorn the bride and groom and decorate the wedding dias and bridal chamber. The bride-to-be goes through a 'lulur' bathing ritual before the wedding ceremony. Wow, isn't this royal treatment? We can enjoy the traditional lulur treatments or 'mandi lulur' in many modern spas. Jasmine is one of the flowers used in lulur.
This flower can also be made into corsages or as hair adornment. Jasmine is used it to make perfumes, scented cosmetics, powders and aromatherapy oils. We also have the Jasmine tea which I like very much.
This is the beauty of Jasmine.
Now, back to reality. Based on my own gardening journal, growing jasmine had not been easy for me. This is my third try. The old plants died as a result of pest attack even before it could bear flowers. Even when it is flowering, somehow it attracts a lot of pests that damage the leaves and buds. These pests are very tiny, appear like brown or black dots on the surface of the leaves and secrete a sticky-like substance on the leaves. I sprayed boiled chilli solution on it and applied some purple colour pesticide granules on the soil to ward off tiny snails. The infected leaves and buds have to be cut off.
Regular fertilising is needed. Phew! A lot or work right? Seems to be working so far. Well, bees and butterflies loves the nectar of this flower. I love the scent.