The jasmine flower is grown from a line of shrubbery and vines that are closely related to the olive family. Although there are about 200 different species of this flower, three of the most common consist of the white, yellow and Japanese varieties. These plants can grow up to 15 feet in their life span, and most of the vine varieties are considered healthy ‘climbers.’ These vines can grow onto other plants or be trained to grow through picket fences, shrubs, or around artfully arranged pieces of chicken wire. Many people grow these plants for their brilliant green leaves as well as for their soft, delicately colored flowers. The leaves themselves – which can either be deciduous or evergreen – are often round, intensely colored and shiny in appearance.
The jasmine flower has been used for ages in a variety of ways. Not only is this flower considered a beautiful plant to keep in the garden, it is also frequently used to adorn woman’s hair and clothing. They have been used to scent green tea leaves; to create delightfully floral pastries, and the scent can be extracted to create essential oils with both healing and aphrodisiac-like properties. The essential oil created from the jasmine flower is said to be an anti-depressant, anti-septic, and a calming sedative. It is also used either by itself or with other notes to create soft, sensuous perfumes that have been favored by women around the world for centuries. The jasmine flower is also widely loved for its strong cultural ties. These blossoms are the national symbol for the Philippines – known there as “Sampaguita” — and Indonesia, where it is known as “Melati.” These flowers are often used as vital elements to both wedding and religious ceremonies.
As a gift, jasmine flowers can be given in a variety of ways, and hold a variety of meanings. In China the jasmine flower is considered the ideal emblem for feminine kindness. In other areas these flowers are thought to indicate grace and delicacy, as well as sensuality and cheerfulness. They are thought to attract wealth and romantic attachments. They make great gifts for those you have a special fondness for; someone who enjoys rich floral fragrances, or even someone who is something of a night owl, as some varieties of this flower tend to open up and show their full beauty late at night. These flowers can easily be given as indoor plants, ready to be planted into the recipient’s own garden, or simply clipped and placed into a fresh bouquet.