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Jasmine (Jasminum, , from Old French Jasmine which is from the Persian yasmin, i.e. "gift from God", via Arabic) is a genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family (Oleaceae), with about 200 species, native to tropical and warm temperate regions of the Old World. Most species grow as climbers on other plants or are trained in gardens on chicken wire, trellis gates or fences, or made to scramble through shrubs of open texture. The leaves can be either evergreen (green all year round) or deciduous (falling in autumn).

Species

Species include:

Cultivation and uses

Widely cultivated for its flowers, jasmine is enjoyed in the garden, as a house plant, and as cut flowers. The flowers are worn by women in their hair in southern and southeast Asia. The delicate jasmine flower opens only at night and may be plucked in the morning when the tiny petals are tightly closed, then stored in a cool place until night. The petals begin to open between six and eight in the evening, as the temperature lowers.

Jasmine Tea

Jasmine tea is consumed in Chinamarker, where it is called jasmine-flower tea (茉莉花茶; pinyin: mò lì huā chá). Jasminum sambac flowers are also used to make so-called jasmine tea, which often has a base of green tea, but sometimes an Oolong base is used. Flowers and tea are "mated" in machines that control temperature and humidity. It takes four hours or so for the tea to absorb the fragrance and flavour of the jasmine blossoms, and for the highest grades, this process may be repeated as many as seven times. Because the tea has absorbed moisture from the flowers, it must be refired to prevent spoilage. The spent flowers may or may not be removed from the final product, as the flowers are completely dry and contain no aroma. Giant fans are used to blow away and remove the petals from the denser tea leaves. If present, they simply add visual appeal and are no indication of the quality of the tea.

Jasmine Syrup

The French are known for their jasmine syrup, most commonly made from an extract of jasmine flowers. In the United States, this French jasmine syrup is used to make jasmine scones and marshmallows.

Jasmine Essential Oil

Jasmine essential oil is in common use. Its flowers are either extracted by the labour-intensive method of enfleurage or through chemical extraction. It is expensive due to the large number of flowers needed to produce a small amount of oil. The flowers have to be gathered at night because the odour of jasmine is more powerful after dark. The flowers are laid out on cotton cloths soaked in olive oil for several days and then extracted leaving the true jasmine essence. Some of the countries producing jasmine essential oil are India, Egypt, China and Morocco.

Jasmine Absolute used in Perfume and Incense

Its chemical constituents include methyl anthranilate, indole, benzyl alcohol, linalool, and skatole. Many species also yield an absolute, which is used in perfumes and incense.

Cultural importance and other information

The White Jasmine Branch, painting of ink and color on silk by Chinese artist Zhao Chang, early 12th century
Jasmine is the national flower of the following countries:

  • The Philippinesmarker, where it is known as "Sampaguita", and is usually strung on garlands which are then used to adorn religious images.
  • Indonesiamarker, where the variety Jasminum sambac is the "puspa bangsa" (national flower), and goes by the name "Melati". It is the most important flower in wedding ceremonies for ethnic Indonesian, especially in the island of Javamarker.
  • Pakistanmarker, where Jasminum officinale is known as the "Chambeli" or "Yasmine" is the national flower.


In Syriamarker, it is the symbolic flower of Damascusmarker, which is called the City of Jasmines.

J. fluminense is an invasive species in Hawaiimarker, where it is sometimes known by the inaccurate name "Brazilian Jasmine". J. dichotomum is also invasive in Floridamarker.

In Thailandmarker, jasmine flowers are used as a symbol of the mother.

Cultural importance of Jasmine in India

  • Jasmine Flower is called as
:"Chameli" in Hindi.
:"Mallika" in Sanskrit
:"Malligai" in Tamil


  • In Tamil Nadumarker, Jasmine is mainly produced at Madurai Districtmarker and the same is going by flight to Mumbaimarker / Bombaymarker for the use at Bombaymarker and further export to other countries.
  • The Madurai city is called as "Malligai Maanagar" (City of Jasmine)
  • Through out Tamil Nadumarker state, the Jasmine is cultivated either in the House, for ladies use and in the Agricultural fields for business purposes.
  • Jasmine Flower Sellers (Vendors) is a common seen in the City streets, Temples and Bus Stand Areas, in Tamil Nadumarker.
  • Jasmine flower is mainly kept in the hair of ladies for its fragrances. Further it is used for flower decorations, in marriages and important functions.
  • Jasmine is cultivated at Pangalamarker, in Karnatakamarker, Indiamarker, and exported to Middle Eastern countries.


Gallery

Image:Jasminum auriculatum (Juhi) in Talakona forest, AP W IMG 8326.jpg|Jasminum auriculatum at Talakona forest, in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradeshmarker, Indiamarker.Image:Jasminum auriculatum (Juhi) in Talakona forest, AP W IMG 8323.jpg|Jasminum auriculatum at Talakona forest, in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradeshmarker, Indiamarker.Image:Jasmine Bud in Chennai during Spring.JPG| Jasmine bud in Chennaimarker. This variety produces large flowers, but too few to be commercially viable.Image:Malligai Ramabaanam.jpg|Jasminum sambac flowers harvested for Malligai - Raama BaanamImage:Jasmine tea1 close-up.jpg|Summer Jasmine Blossoms - fresh jasmine flowers from Taimu Mountain.Image:Jasmine tea2 close-up.jpg|Jasmine Flower Green Tea - blossoms are poured onto green tea to make dragon pearl tea.

References

  1. Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607.
  2. http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/0/Jasmin
  3. "jasmine, -in, jessamine, -in", OED
  4. "jasmine." Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002.
  5. Metcalf, 1999, p. 123.
  6. Bluegrape jasmine


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