Plant of the Week – Italian jasmine: February 20, 2020

When you think of the word “jasmine” two things come to mind. One of them is a vining plant and the other is something with white flowers (probably fragrant). This plant is neither.

Italian jasmine is a mainstay in the Sperry landscape and it’s been that way for almost all of my life. I just wish more nurseries would offer it. If you want one, definitely call ahead to be sure that your favorite nursery has it on hand. If not, perhaps they can order it in for you.

Italian jasmine is an arching shrub with yellow flowers that have no aroma. I grew up with one of these right outside my parents’ window in College Station. I have no idea where it came from. Our house was built in the 1940s, and the prior owner may very well have planted it. I just know that in the years that I lived there (fourth grade through early college) that plant was always orderly and never had any kind of a problem.

Continued Below

We have lived in North Central Texas for 50 years, and somehow I’ve always managed to have several Italian jasmines in my landscapes. There were times that it took me a while to find them in nurseries, but where there’s a will I found the way.

If you go into a nursery today and ask for Italian jasmine, there’s a pretty good chance that they won’t have any. But if enough of us do, growers will begin to produce it and retail nurseries will begin to stock it. Let me tell you more about it.

These cheerful little flowers start coming out in late winter and they continue on through late summer.

The pertinent facts…
Italian jasmine.
Jasminum humile.
Deepest green, evergreen shrub to 5-6 ft. tall and 6 ft. wide.
Arching habit of fine to medium texture.
Well suited to sun or part sun – even a good bit of shade.
Small flowers beginning late winter and continuing on through spring and summer.
U.S.D.A. Plant Hardiness Zones 7-11.
Drought-tolerant and extremely resistant to pests.
Excellent mid-sized shrub when massed in beds, especially beneath tall windows and on embankments.
Propagates easily from cuttings.

Note: Italian jasmine should not be confused with its big sister primrose jasmine (Jasminum mesnyi). The latter plant grows half again as large – to 6 to 8 ft. tall and 7 to 9 ft. wide. It has larger flowers that are a lighter shade of yellow. It’s also a full Hardiness Zone less winter-hardy than Italian jasmine, being perfectly suited only to Zones 8-11 (southern half of the state).

Posted by Neil Sperry
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