Sunday, June 28, 2015

White and Fragrant: Jasminum sambac

Jasminum sambac, Arabian jasmine
I have to credit my sister for the idea of creating a container garden in the patio this summer.  It has been a wonderful and refreshing thing to walk out into the little cluster of potted plants, most of them thriving in the shade there.  

The patio's main exposure is to the south, where the Rose Border is beginning to line its outer edge.  The morning sun comes along one end to the east, and the evening sun shines in from the west, but overall the plants are much more sheltered here than they are in the open garden.  The one hazard has been from the prevailing westerly winds, which are scarcely slowed as they race down the long patio from one end to the other.  On the contrary, it practically forms a wind tunnel.

Which brings me to introduce Jasminum sambac, the Arabian jasmine.  Unfazed by the dry wind... or the heat.  Said to grow to 6 - 10 ft (2 -3 m), ours is still barely larger than its original nursery pot.  It sits, along with Trachelospermum jasminoides (known as Star Jasmine though apparently unrelated), against a pillar on the south side of the patio.  (The plant on the right is Jasminum sambac.)
jasmine, container plants on the patio
And it blooms.
Jasminum sambac, Arabian jasmine
Its blossoms are so white that I've had a great deal of difficulty photographing them.  But it's high time to share these lovely things so here they are.
Jasminum sambac, Arabian jasmine
The fragrance is marvelous, a rich, deep perfume.  Sorry, you will have to use your imagination or your memory!
Jasminum sambac, Arabian jasmine
Its frost-hardiness is doubtful.  This may limit its use to the patio, though I am tempted to try it in the garden someday as it is verging on the irresistable.
Jasminum sambac, Arabian jasmine
Foliage is deep green and lightly textured, rounded with pointed tips.  The plant is growing upward and outward and will need some twine to climb very soon.  It's impossible to say much about its level of drought-tolerance as we just keep the pot watered normally.  But the aplomb with which it handled last week's heat and winds gives it high ranking for desert growing!
Jasminum sambac, Arabian jasmine, amy myers photography
Weather Diary: Fair; High: 108 F (42 C)/Low: 84 F (29 C)


  1. What a great little plant - I've not seen it before....I must say, that it looks stunning in the pot against that ochre pillar

  2. So far I'm very impressed, Matt (no doubt you can tell!). One advantage of living this close to the border is the availability of nice Mexican garden pottery. It does wonders for a patio planting ;-)

  3. It sounds wonderful. I'll have to keep my eye out for it.

    1. Might be worth finding, Kris! I shouldn't sing its praises too loudly since we haven't had it long, but it seems like a great addition to a warm, dryish garden.