Jasminum Sambac | Jasmine: Description, Major Species and Facts

Mogra, chameli plant

Jasminum Sambac | Jasmine Plant: Description, Major Species and Facts


Jasmine Plant

Jasminum sambac is a flowering plant which is also known as Arabian jasmine or Sambac jasmine is a species of jasmine plant native to tropical Asia, it is found widely from the Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia. It is widely cultivated in many places, especially across much of South and Southeast Asia. It is naturalized in many scattered locales: Mauritius, Madagascar, the Maldives, Christmas Island, Chiapas, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Central America, southern Florida, the Bahamas, Cuba and the Lesser Antilles.

Family: Oleaceae

Genus: Jasminum

Species: J. sambac


Nyctanthes sambac L,  Mogorium sambac (L.) Lam, Jasminum fragrans Salisb, Jasminum sambac var normale Kuntze), Jasminum bicorollatum Noronha and Jasminum blancoi Hassk.

The Jasminum sambac plant is a tiny shrub or vine that can reach heights of 1.6 to 9.8 feet. It is frequently grown for its lovely, sweet-smelling flowers. The flowers can be added as a fragrant component to jasmine tea and perfumes. It is well-known as Mogra and is immensely popular in Pakistan and India. In India it is also called Chameli (चमेली) in Hindi. It is also one of the three national flowers of Indonesia, where it is known as melati putih, and the national flower of the Philippines, where it is known as sampaguita.

Jasminum Sambac | Jasmine


An evergreen vine or shrub, Jasminum sambac can grow to a height of 1.6 to 9.8 feet. Due to autopolyploidy, natural hybridization, and spontaneous mutation, the species is exceedingly varied. The majority of Jasminum sambac plants grown for commercial purposes do not generate seeds; instead, cuttings, layering, marcotting, and other asexual propagation techniques are used to propagate the plant.

The ovate leaves are 0.79 to 2.95 inches in width and 1.6 to 4.9 inches in length. The phyllotaxy is simple, opposite, or in three whorls (not pinnate, like most other jasmines). With the exception of a few hairs in the venation on the base of the leaf, they are hairless (glabrous).

The blooms are produced in clusters of three to twelve at the terminals of branches and bloom all year long. Their white corolla measures 0.79 to 1.18 inches in diameter and has 5 to 9 lobes. They have a potent aroma. The blooms bloom over a 12- to 20-hour period, opening at night (often between 6 and 8 p.m.) and closing in the morning. A 1 cm-diameter purple to black berry serves as the fruit.

Taxonomy & Nomenclature of Jasmine

The tribe Jasmineae includes the genus Jasminum, which includes Jasminum sambac. It is a member of the Oleaceae family of olives.

Jasminum sambac is not a native of Arabia, despite its widespread name in English of "Arabian jasmine." The Jasminum sambac plant prefers humid tropical temperatures to the Middle East's arid ones as its natural habitat. Early Chinese descriptions of the plant indicate that eastern South Asia and Southeast Asia are where Jasminum sambac originated. Man helped spread Jasminum sambac (together with nine other members of the genus) into Arabia and Persia, where they were grown in gardens. From there, they were brought to Europe where, in the 18th century, they were known by the common name "sambac" and were grown as ornamentals.

Jasmine flower oil from any kind of jasmine's blooms was referred to in mediaeval Arabic as "zanbaq." After entering late mediaeval Latin with the same meaning as Arabic as "sambacus" and "zambacca," the word was later accepted in post-medieval Latin plant taxonomy as a name for the J. sambac species. In terms of aroma quality, the J. sambac species is a reliable source for jasmine flower oil, and it is still grown today for the perfume business. The Jasminum officinale species is likely grown to a higher degree and is used for the same purpose.

In the first printing of his renowned book Systema Naturae, Carl Linnaeus first identified the plant as Nyctanthes sambac in 1753. In 1789, The distinctive characteristic of Jasminum sambac is its sweet, intoxicating aroma. It is widely cultivated as a decorative plant and for its potently fragrant blossoms across the tropics, from the Arabian Peninsula to Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. There are currently many different varieties.

The blooms are often plucked in the morning as buds. Since firmness and size might vary depending on the weather, flower buds are harvested based on colour. The buds must be white since green ones might not release the distinctive smell for which they are recognised. Since more open flowers are required to extract oil from them and they quickly lose their smell, open blooms are typically not collected.

J. sambac must be grown under glass in an unheated greenhouse or conservatory in temperate climates since it cannot handle being frozen. It has a potent scent that some people could find overwhelming. The Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit has been given to this plant in the UK.

Cultivars of Jasmine

The morphology of the leaves and the composition of the corolla vary amongst the several cultivars of Jasminum sambac. The recognised cultivars consist of:

Maid of Orleans

The flower variety "Maid of Orleans" has a single layer with five or more oval-shaped petals. It is the kind that is most frequently known to as pikake and sampaguita. It is sometimes referred to as "Mograw," "Motiya," or "Bela."

Belle of India

Flowers from the "Belle of India" variety have one or two layers of extended petals.

Grand Duke of Tuscany

"Grand Duke of Tuscany" has flowers with double the number of petals. They are less fragrant than the other types and resemble little white roses. It also goes by the names "Rose Jasmine" and "Butt Mograw." Its name in the Philippines is kampupot.

Mysore Mallige

Mysore Mallige is similar to the Belle Duke of Tuscany' cultivar.

Arabian Nights

'Arabian Nights' has double layer of petals but is smaller in size like 'Grand Duke of Tuscany' cultivar.

Chemical composition of Jasmine

Dotriacontanoic acid, dotriacontanol, oleanolic acid, daucosterol, hesperidin, and [+]-jasminoids A, B, C, and D are all present in the roots of Jasminum sambac. Rutin, quercetin, and isoquercetin are only a few of the flavonoids found in leaves. Other flavonoids include rhamnoglycosides, -amyrin, and -sitosterol. This plant yielded the jasmintides, a brand-new plant cysteine-rich peptide family.


Many different substances, including benzyl alcohol, tetradecamethylcycloheptasiloxane, methyl benzoate, linalool, benzyl acetate, (-)-(R)-jasmine lactone, (E,E)—farnesene, (Z)-3-hexenyl benzoate, N-acetylmethylanthranilate, dodecamethylcyclohexasi.

Jasmine flower

Importance of Jasmine

By way of Proclamation No. 652, which was issued by American Governor-General Frank Murphy, the Philippines officially declared Jasminum sambac (also known as sampaguita in Filipino and Philippine Spanish) as their national flower on February 1st, 1934. Native names for it include lumabi or malul in Maguindanao, hubar or malur in Tausug, sampaga or kampupot in Tagalog, kulatai, pongso or kampupot in Kapampangan, manul in the Visayan languages.

Sampaguita is a straight borrowing of the Indian sanskrit word "campaka" into the Filipino language. The flowers are strung onto leis, corsages, and occasionally crowns by Filipinos. These garlands are frequently sold by merchants outside churches and close to street crossroads. They come in the form of free strings of blossoms or compact clusters of buds.

Sampaguita garlands are used to bestow praise, honour, or veneration. These are mostly used to adorn religious statues, processions, and altars with pictures of the deceased. The living are given them to wear around their necks, including dignitaries, guests, and occasionally graduating pupils. Buds strung onto long ropes are frequently used to adorn formal occasions like weddings and state celebrations at Malacaang Palace. They are also occasionally utilised as the ribbon during ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Although edible, the bloom is rarely used in cooking; one unique use is as an ice cream flavouring.

The danza song La Flor de Manila, written by Dolores Paterno in 1879, is about jasminum sambac. The song, which was well-liked during the Commonwealth, is today recognised as a timeless love ballad. The tune El Collar de Sampaguita bears the same name as the flower. The sampaguita served as inspiration for the ceremonial torch for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, which was created by Filipino sculptor Daniel Dela Cruz.


One of Indonesia's three national flowers, together with the moon orchid and the gigantic padma, is Jasminum sambac (Indonesian: melati putih). The significance of Jasminum sambac in Indonesian culture predates its official approval, which was only proclaimed in 1990 on World Environment Day and made legal through Presidential Decree No. 4 in 1993. Since Sukarno established the Indonesian republic, melati putih has been unofficially acknowledged as the country's national flower. The devotion and elevated position are largely attributable to the flower's significance in Indonesian culture going back thousands of years.

It has long been revered as a sacred flower in Indonesian culture because it represents innocence, sanctity, ethereal simplicity, and honesty. It also serves as a metaphor for modesty because it is a tiny, plain white flower with a delightful scent. For ethnic Indonesians, particularly on the island of Java, it is also the most significant flower during wedding ceremonies. Strings of jasmine garlands are typically made with jasmine flower buds that have not fully opened (Javanese: roncen melati). On the day of the wedding, a traditional Javanese or Sundanese bride will have jasmine garlands strung in her hair in the shape of a hairnet to cover the konde (hair bun). The bride's head is left with the delicately woven jasmine garlands hanging unbound. The five jasmine garlands on the groom's kris are referred to as roncen usus-usus (intestine garlands) because of their intestine-like shape and connection to the Arya Penangsang tale. Jasmine blossoms that resemble pearls are frequently used to adorn the hair of Makassar and Bugis brides. Jasmine is also frequently present at funerals and utilised as floral offerings for hyangs, spirits, and deities, particularly among Balinese Hindus. The jasmine flower is portrayed in the bungo melati design on Palembang songket fabrics to symbolise beauty and femininity in South Sumatran traditional dress.

The jasmine flower is associated with many different things in Indonesian culture; it is the flower of life, beauty, and joyous weddings, but it is also frequently connected to the afterlife and death. In Indonesian patriotic songs and poems, the fallen melati is frequently praised as the representation of fallen heroes who gave their lives and died for the country, a concept that is quite similar to fallen sakura in Japanese culture, which stand in for fallen heroes. The patriotic songs "Melati di Tapal Batas" (Jasmine on the Border) by Ismail Marzuki and "Melati Suci" (Sacred Jasmine) by Guruh Sukarnoputra both relate to jasmine as a symbol of departed soldiers and the flower that adorned Ibu Pertiwi (Indonesian national personification). According to Iwan Abdurachman's "Melati dari Jayagiri" (jasmine from Jayagiri mountain), jasmine is a symbol for both a long-lost love and the purest, unadulterated beauty of a girl.

Jasmine flowers and buds are also used in Indonesia to create jasmine essential oil through the steam distillation technique. One of the most expensive products in the perfume and aromatherapy industries is jasmine essential oil.


The flower is presented to the Buddha as an offering in Cambodia. Cambodians string flower buds onto a wooden needle during the June-to-August flowering season to give to the Buddha.


The flower is prepared and utilised as the primary flavouring component in jasmine tea in China. Additionally, Mo Li Hua, a well-known folk song, is about it.


The flower, known as pkake in Hawaii, is used to create fragrant leis. The Hawaiian Princess Kaiulani loved both the flowers and the peacock, thus the word "pkake," which means "peacock," was created from that word.

The Middle East

On a child's first birthday in Oman, Jasminum sambac is widely displayed. They are used to create substantial garlands used as ornaments in the hair. Other kids chant "hol hol" as they drop flowers on the child's head. The aromatic blooms are frequently offered wrapped in strips of date palm leaf and sandwiched between huge leaves of the Indian almond (Terminalia catappa). Similar to the White Poppy flower, in Bahrain the flower is put into a pin coupled with a palm tree leaf to remember the nation's martyrs.

South Asia

In Hinduism, jasmine is a sacred flower that is utilised for worship, meditation, decorating, and scent. It is also sacred to all manifestations of Goddess Devi. Sacred offerings made with it are used in Hindu religious rituals:. An example of a Hindu prayer "Goddess Saraswathi, who is fair as a jasmine flower, the moon, or a snow flake, who is attired in white and has Veena adorning her hands, who is sitting on a white lotus, to whom Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara pray, please protect us,"

In its native countries of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, it is among the most widely grown ornamentals. In Indian weddings, the bride frequently dresses up her hair with mogra garlands that are wrapped around a bun or braid.

Sri Lanka

It is frequently referred to as pichcha or gaeta pichcha in Sri Lanka. In earlier writings, the names sithapushpa and katarolu are also employed. The flowers are utilised in ceremonial garlands and Buddhist temples.


Small shrub Jasminum sambac, which is native to India and Bhutan, is frequently grown for its spectacular and intensely fragrant blossoms. It is a weed that can suffocate other plants because of its climbing growing pattern. This species is currently classified as invasive in Florida, Hawaii, and Cuba in the United States. It is mostly used for aroma and ornamentation.

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