Jasminum Sambac…The “King of Flowers”

 

The fragrance from this flower makes me swoon from intoxication.  It smells so wonderful you might wish you could eat it…and you can.  This flower is the glorious jasmine.  It has been highly sought after and prized for many centuries.  Once you’ve held it in your hand, you will want it in your garden as well.  It blooms profusely and will even do so in filtered light.  It doesn’t mind short periods of drought and is easy to care for.  Since it is a tropical, it grows in zones 9-10.  But, if you don’t live in the tropics, don’t give up on it.  It can be grown indoors!  It would need to be kept in an area that has quite a lot of  sunlight, but not so much that it burns the plant leaves.  When the weather warms up over 50 degrees  it can be taken outside.  We had many nights here in zone 9b that were in the low 20’s this year and my jasmines are fine.  I keep some in pots and some in the ground.  They do grow great in pots.

The ‘Grand Duke of Tuscany’ jasmine is my favorite.  That’s a flower in the picture above.  It is very slow-growing.  I am also growing ‘Maid of Orleans’, which grows quickly and vines.  This is the variety that is used to make jasmine tea.  There are several other varieties that I have been looking for.  I know I’ll find them eventually…’Arabian Nights’, ‘Mysore Mulli’, ‘Belle of India’ and the elusive ‘Mali Chat’.

My favorite way to enjoy these beauties is to pick a few flowers and add them to a pitcher of ice water.  That’s it. Voila! Jasmine Water.  You could let it sit for 24 hours or just enjoy it immediately.  I find that these flowers don’t need to sit for long to flavor your entire pitcher with a light floral flavor.  Refreshing and yummy.  I add sugar for the kids, but I prefer mine without.  My kids ask for this everyday when it’s blooming.  Since I usually have more flowers than I know what to do with, I usually just let some float in a pretty bowl on the counter to fill the air with the scent of jasmine. 

I think we are all a little happier when the house smells like jasmine. There are endless possibilities to the culinary delights that could be created with these flowers.  A sugary syrup would be exotic and irresistable.  It can be  poured over fruits, ice cream, iced teas , rice, etc.  However, I want to add a warning here:  the jasmine that you are likely to encounter growing in parking lots and in most people’s yards is highly poisonous!  It is not Jasminum sambac, it just smells similar.

If you’re hooked now and want one too, they can be purchased through Top Tropicals plant nursery.  They have a great website that is full of information on many kinds of plants.  I’ve always had good luck with them.  Actually, now I’m going to see if that ‘Mali Chat’ is available through them.  

 Come grow with us!

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15 Responses to “Jasminum Sambac…The “King of Flowers””

  1. Hello! Out of the two- “Grand Duke” and “Maid of Orleans’- which one makes the most blooms/smells the strongest? I want to put one near my front door and am undecided!

    • “Grand Duke” has big blooms for a jasmine (looks like a small rose) and is extremely fragrant. It grows slowly and looks more like a bush, so is easy to keep pruned. The “Maid of Orleans” has a smaller flower, is a prolific bloomer, smells great, grows fast but is a vine that will get very large and could easily take over. It will “sleep” the first year, “creep” the second year and “leap” the third. I find that they both are great bloomers in the summer and both smell awesome. Remember that they are cold sensitive, although mine survived this past winter which was coldest winter of record for SW Florida. I hope this helps!

  2. [...] first flavored iced tea that we made was with lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and edible jasmine flowers (Jasminum sambac).  Grayson said this was his favorite and Jackson said he favored this one too.  [...]

  3. I ordered a Grand Duke from Lees Tropials. It is a small plant but hopefully it will grow fast! I am looking forward to smelling those beautiful blooms, I have never had one before. Love all jasmines!!

    • The Grand Duke of Tuscany is actually a slow-growing jasmine. But don’t worry… it’s flowers are so incredible they will take your breath away. Even a small plant will bloom profusely.

      • I have had my Grand Duke now for one month and I haven’t seen any growth, I know they grow slowly but goodness, when do they start? Lol I would love to see a flower. How big do they need to be before they bloom? Thanks.

      • None of my edible jasmines have been in bloom over the past couple months. I’m not sure where you’re located, but they slow down in the fall and winter in Florida to rest. The Grand Duke of Tuscany is incredibly slow-growing even in the spring and summer. I’ve had mine a few years now and the plants are still small. I get tons of flowers on them though. Believe me when I tell you that when you get your first flower, you will find it worth the wait. Patience.

  4. I lovegrand duke of tuscany jasmin and i love to by one of them, but i cnnot find them in philadelphia

    • TopTropicals.com sells several varieties of edible jasmine at their online nursery store. You could give them a try. They usually have it in stock and will ship the plant to you.

  5. You totally need a contact page! Anyways, I was curious, do you have any Jasminum Sambac Belle of India?

    I purchased a plant that was supposed to be the Belle of India cultivar, but it was mistakenly a Maid of Orleans cultivar, which I already have. Any suggestions on where I might get a hold of even a small Jasminum Sambac Belle of India? Might I be able to buy one from you? email me? Thanks!

  6. I have had my Grand Duke now for over a year and nothing! No leaves, no flowers. I did everything people told me but I am over it! I am sure it is awesome, but I think I will stick with Maid Of Orleans they are much more rewarding in my opinion, and the fragrance is out of this world!
    John, I hope you find your Belle of India! Good luck to ya.

  7. I am getting all my Maid Of Orleans together for a big pot of them, and this fall propagate them!!! I do love the smell of the Maid, it is a easy plant to grow. I think I would prefer having it, because it is alway’s blooming somewhere when you have a large pot of them!!

  8. cant agreed more. the fragrance is so pretty..! i just found out it’s edible..! i had it for over 25years, never eat them…!

  9. Does anyone have any good recipes using jasmine?? I would appreciate any recipes that anyone may have… Thanks!!!

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