Jasminum officinale
Botanical illustration
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Jasminum
J. officinale
Binomial name
Jasminum officinale
Floral wreath of jasmine representing the shield of Pakistan

Jasminum officinale, known as the common jasmine or simply jasmine, is a species of flowering plant in the olive family Oleaceae. It is native to the Caucasus and parts of Asia, also widely naturalized.

It is also known as summer jasmine,[1] poet's jasmine,[2] white jasmine,[2] true jasmine or jessamine,[2] and is particularly valued by gardeners throughout the temperate world for the intense fragrance of its flowers in summer. It is also the National flower of Pakistan.


Jasminum officinale is a vigorous, twining deciduous climber with sharply pointed pinnate leaves and clusters of starry, pure white flowers in summer, which are the source of its heady scent.[3] The leaf has 5 to 9 leaflets.[4]


The Latin specific epithet officinale means "useful".[5]


It is found in the Caucasus, northern Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Himalayas, Tajikistan, India, Nepal and western China (Guizhou, Sichuan, Xizang (Tibet), Yunnan). The species is also widely cultivated in many places, and is reportedly naturalized in Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Algeria, Florida and the West Indies.[3]

Chemical composition

J. officinale has been found to contain alkaloids, coumarins, flavonoids, tannins, terpenoids, glycosides, emodine, leucoanthocyanins, steroids, anthocyanins, phlobatinins, essential oil and saponins.[6]

Garden history

Jasminum officinale is so ancient in cultivation that its country of origin, though somewhere in Central Asia, is not certain.[7] H.L. Li, The Garden Flowers of China,[8] notes that in the third century CE, jasmines identifiable as J. officinale and J. sambac were recorded among "foreign" plants in Chinese texts, and that in ninth-century Chinese texts J. officinale was said to come from Byzantium. Its Chinese name, Yeh-hsi-ming is a version of the Persian and Arabic name.[9]

Its entry into European gardens was most likely through the Arab-Norman culture of Sicily, but, as the garden historian John Harvey has said, "surprisingly little is known, historically or archaeologically, of the cultural life of pre-Norman Sicily".[10] In the mid-14th century the Florentine author Boccaccio in his Decameron describes a walled garden in which "the sides of the alleys were all, as it were, walled in with roses white and red and jasmine; insomuch that there was no part of the garden but one might walk there not merely in the morning but at high noon in grateful shade."[11] Jasmine water also features in the story of Salabaetto in the Decameron.[12] Jasminum officinale, "of the household office" where perfumes were distilled, was so thoroughly naturalized that Linnaeus thought it was native to Switzerland.[13] As a garden plant in London it features in William Turner's Names of Herbes, 1548.

Double forms, here as among many flowers, were treasured in the 16th and 17th centuries.


Numerous cultivars have been developed for garden use, often with variegated foliage. The cultivar 'Argenteovariegatum',[14] with cream-white variegation on the leaves, has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[15]


Essential oil

The essential oil of Jasminum officinale is used in aromatherapy. Jasmine absolute has a heavy, sweet scent valued by perfumers. The flowers release their perfume at dusk, so flowers are picked at night and a tiny amount of oil is obtained from each blossom by solvent extraction. The result is an expensive oil which can be used in low concentrations.[citation needed]


Jasmine is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) as a food ingredient by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.[16]

It is unknown whether jasmine consumption affects breastmilk, as the safety and efficacy of jasmine in nursing mothers or infants has not been adequately studied.[16] Drinking small amounts of jasmine tea likely are not harmful during nursing.[16]

Allergic reactions to jasmine may occur.[16]


  1. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  2. ^ a b c "Jasminum officinale". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
  4. ^ "Jasminum officinale - Plant Finder". www.missouribotanicalgarden.org. Retrieved 2021-10-05.
  5. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for Gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 978-1845337315.
  6. ^ Al-Snafi, Ali Esmail (2018). "Pharmacology and Medicinal Properties of Jasminum Officinale- A Review". Indo American Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 05 (4): 2191–2197. doi:10.5281/zenodo.1214994.
  7. ^ Alice M. Coats, Garden Shrubs and Their Histories (1964) 1992, s.v. "Jasminum".
  8. ^ Li, The Garden Flowers of China, 1959, noted in Coats (1964) 1992.
  9. ^ Coats (1964) 1992.
  10. ^ John Harvey, Mediaeval gardens (1981:48).
  11. ^ Boccaccio, Decameron, third day.
  12. ^ "They then took from the basket silver vases of great beauty, some of which were filled with rose water, some with orange water, some with jasmine water, and some with lemon water, which they sprinkled upon them".
  13. ^ Noted in Coats (1964) 1992.
  14. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Jasminum officinale 'Argenteovariegatum'". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  15. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 56. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  16. ^ a b c d "Jasmine". LactMed, US National Library of Medicine. 17 May 2021. Retrieved 24 May 2023.