The Jasmine, or Jessamine (the name derived from the Persian Yasmin), belongs botanically to the genus Jasminum, of the natural order Oleaceae, which contains about 150 species, mostly natives of the warmer regions of the Old World. About forty of these are cultivated in gardens all over the world.
Their leaves are mostly ternate or pinnate; the flowers, usually white or yellow, with a tubular, five- or eight-cleft calyx, a cylindrical corolla-tube, with a spreading limb, two stamens enclosed in the corolla-tube and a two-celled ovary.
The common white Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) is a native of Northern India and Persia, introduced about the middle of the sixteenth century In the centre and south of Europe, where it is thoroughly acclimatized.
Although it grows to the height of 12 and sometimes 20 feet, its stem is feeble and requires support. Its leaves are opposite, pinnate and dark green, the leaflets are in three pairs, with an odd one and are pointed, the terminal one larger with a tapering point. The fragrant flowers bloom from June to October; and as they are found chiefly on the young shoots, the plant should only be pruned in the autumn.