The stephanotis flower – better known as the Madagascar jasmine or the bridal veil – is a small genus consisting of 5 to 15 species, and are a member of the apocynaceae family. True to its nickname, this flower is native to the tropical island of Madagascar where it grows its best in the humid environment, moist soil, and bright but indirect sunlight. This plant is considered something of a climber, and its thick evergreen foliage can easily be trained to grow around trellises and wire forms. The flowers themselves are well loved for their rich, heady fragrance and graceful appearance. Although the heads begin as small tubular buds, they invariably blossom into showy, bright white star shapes – with five evenly spaced and pointed petals.
Although the stephanotis flower has not been marketed for very long, it has – over several years – become a very popular wedding blossom. Despite the fact that, when cut, these flowers can be very delicate and brown easily from the oils on a person’s skin, they are still highly sought after as bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres, as well as elegant, fragrant wedding decorations. In addition to being a bridal favorite, the stephanotis flower is also a well loved inspiration to crafting enthusiasts. As well as creating arrangements and boutonnieres of both fresh and silk stephanotis flowers, many people like to create paper, clay and wax candle moldings of this particular blossom, and even occasionally douse their pieces in the essential oils to add a more realistic touch to them. Because of their strong fragrance – which is similar to the rich, fruity scent of the hoya flower – they frequently appear as the potent floral note of many perfumes.
In Victorian times, the stephanotis flower was considered the ultimate symbol for marital bliss – and this is likely one of the reasons that they have become very popular in weddings. If the bride and groom have not already chosen this flower as part of their theme, it is not uncommon to present these blossoms as fortuitous emblems for both the upcoming nuptials, and the married life to come. As well as being associated with weddings, these flowers are also thought to represent general happiness and good luck, and may sometimes be given to a person who is changing their life or career, so as to wish them the best in the future.