Family : Apocynaceae
Text © Pietro Puccio
English translation by Mario Beltramini
The Trachelospermum jasminoides (Lindl.) Lem. (1851) is native to Japan, Korea, China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.
The name of the genus is the combination of the Greek words “tràchelos” = neck and “sperma” = seed, with reference to the extension shown by the seeds of some plants belonging to the genus; the name of the species is the combination of the name Jasminum with the suffix “-oeides”, from the Greek “êidos” = idea, form, hence similar to the jasmine, with reference to the form and the intense perfume of the flowers.
Common names: “falso gelsomino”, “rincospermo” (Italian); “luo shi” (Chinese); “confederate jasmine”, “star jasmine” (English); “trachelosperme”, “jasmine des Indes”, “jasmine étoilé”, “faux jasmine”, “confederate jasmine” (French); “Sternjasmin” (German); “trachelospermo”, “traquelospermo”, “jazmín de leche”, “jazmín de estrella”, “falso jazmín”, “jazmín chino”, “jazmín estrellado” (Spanish); “jasmim estrelado”, “falso jasmim”, “jasmim-estrela” (Portuguese).
Evergreen woody vine with a vigorous growth, it shows pubescent stems and petioles, the leaves are oblong or elliptic, long up to about 8 cm and up to 3 cm broad, of a glossy dark green colour. The inflorescences, which appear in spring-early summer, are axillar, on a long peduncle and carry white stellar flowers of about 2,5 cm of diameter, intensely perfumed. The fruits are follicles long up to about 36 cm, with a diameter of 0,5 cm, containing numerous seeds provided of a tuft of hair suitable to favour their dispersal. Usually, it reproduces by semi-woody cutting in summer, marcot and ground layering.
Very diffused climber, particularly in the areas with temperate and cold-temperate climate, due to its resistance to low temperatures, up to -12°C, the luxuriant foliage and the intensely perfumed blossoming. It is to be cultivated preferably in full sun for getting a copious flowering, and is not particular in soil, even if it prefers rich ones, sandy and well drained maintained rather humid; the adult plants can bear long periods of drought. All the parts of the plant, which has had a certain role in the traditional Chinese medicine, contain potentially toxic substances.
Synonyms: Rhynchospermum jasminoides Lindl. (1846); Nerium divaricatum Thunb. (1784); Parechites thunbergii A.Gray (1859); Parechites adnascens Hance (1868); Parechites bowringii Hance (1868); Trachelospermum divaricatum Kanitz (1878); Trachelospermum bowringii (Hance) Hemsl. (1889); Trachelospermum jasminoides var. pubescens Makino (1912).