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Noon Edition

The Varieties of Jasmine

Jasmine polyanthum (polyanthum means many flowers) is a vigorous vine that produces sprays of fragrant white blossoms. The Duke of Medici was said to be the first to grow jasmine in Italy and, according to legend since his time, Italian brides have worn a spray of the Duke's special jasmine on their wedding day for good luck.

Some Different Varieties Of Jasmine

There are about 200 species of jasmine but only about 15 are suitable to grow in gardens. Here are just a few of the varieties:

  • The white jasmine was first introduced to England from India by Vasco da Gama in the 16th century thus having a distinguished lineage. From the first though, its claim to fame was its perfume.
  • Winter jasmine was migrated from China by the English botanist Robert Fortune in 1844 and was described as a symbol of grace and elegance.
  • The state flower of South Carolina is the Carolina jasmine. It is not actually a member of the large jasmine genus at all, though it does have a very sweet perfume. It is, however, extremely poisonous and if any part of the plant is swallowed it will cause paralysis or even death!

There are a lot of different kinds of jasmines, and for those of us who have cold winters and want to grow one that flowers indoors, catalogs such as the one produced by White Flower Farm, frequently offer good varieties for this purpose

Note: There are so many poisonous plants that it is important for all adults to follow the rule of never picking anything in a garden and immediately popping it into their mouths in front of children. While we may feel like doing so with, for example, a cherry tomato the practice allows children to generalize and think that it is okay to eat anything in a garden.

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