Mar 28, 2009

The Fragrant Beauty

It is when the sun shines down that these beauties begin to show up. One of the most notorious blooms, it's d in almost all of the ancient lore, especially in Purânas (Ancient lore). People used this to define whiteness and purity. The poets used it to describe parts of body, like “…her fingernails were like a row of Jâtî flowers…” (from Brahma Purâna) for example. Any city described in Ancient lore would say that the city was beautified with Jâti plants. This flower is dear to Lord Vishnu (one of the Hindu Trinity Gods) and it is stated in Brahma Purâna that Lord Narasimha (Half man-Half lion – one of the ten famous incarnations of Vishnu) should be worshipped by offering Jâtî flowers.

Sisira, before departing would begin nurturing these plants, letting them be in full bloom by the time Vasanta arrives. It is no doubt that Jasmine was used as an Aphrodisiac! No matter how many fragrant flowers you come across, Jasmine never fails to attract your attention towards it.

I fell in love with this species and thought it’s a must have in Plantville. As you all know I did get two varieties of it and began giving out buds by the end of the Dewy season and is now constantly blooming with the arrival of Spring.

Remember the Ol’ Hag? Yes, yes. Iruvâkshî. She after all turned out not to be Iruvâkshî but just another variety of Jâtî! I was fooled, but hey! I’m not disappointed all the same. By the ways, Iruv-... oops! I mean, the Ol’ Hag Jâtî did open up and spoke to me (which deserves an individual post) about one of the inhabitants of Plantville.

Her roommate was a generous gift of our neighbor who turned out to be similar to the one featuring the previous post. Yes, Raji Muthukrishnan and Shailaja guessed it right. It’s the Arabian jasmine – ‘Grand Duke of Tuscany’. Congratulations you two!

It has healing properties other than just being fragrant.

Its flowers are known to encourages goodness and harmony – which in Sanskrit is called a Sâttva guna (quality of goodness).

In traditional Âyurveda, it’s used to reduce fevers and to strengthen the immune system.

The trick with Jasmine is to get established in its place, but once it does so, it’d grow into a forest before you remember when you planted it. Without flower food or fertilizer, you’d see that your Jasmine would only grow into a thick forest of foliage with no sign of flowers. I’ve always wondered why the Jasmine at my Aunt’s never flowered! It’s been in her front yard for more than five years and I’ve never seen it blooming (neither has she!). I recently learned that it’s similar to Hibiscus. No flower food or no fertilizer, no blooms. In ancient times people used to feed it with cow’s urine and dung (cow’s urine for good foliage growth and fight diseases and dung for flowers).

In the famous poem of an India Poet named Jayadeva, he says (through Râdhâ’s – lover of Krishna words),

“O’ friend! The Spring is fragrant with the gentle scent of Mâdhavî (Hiptage) flowers, Mâlikâ (Double Jasmine), and Jâtî (Jasmine) and would bewilder the minds of even the sages! Now, what can be told of the young folk? The Spring is the kinsman of those youngsters.”

This is an extract of Jayadeva’s famous poem called Gîta Govindam, where Râdhâ complains to her friend about Krishna sporting with other cowherd women and ignoring her.

These flowers were used by Ancient Chinese to make Tea. These flowers were placed beside the green tea to let them absorb the scent.

Oh, I can speak forever about this beauty, but work beckons. See you all soon, until then sink yourselves in its dashing beauty!

Arabian Jasmine 'Maid of Orleans' - Jasminum sambac var. 'Maid of Orleans' - Jâtî

Arabian Jasmine 'Belle of India' - Jasminum sambac var. 'Belle of India' - Jâtî

Arabian Jasmine 'Grand Duke Of Tuscany' - Jasminum sambac var. 'Grand Duke Of Tuscany' - Jâtî


Anonymous said...

Lovely flowers !!

Sherrie said...

It's very beautiful!! I don't think I've seen Jasmine growing around here. Must be too cold here! Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great day!!


Randy Emmitt said...

Just love fragrant flowers. Something about white droopy flowers, you see the photos you know they are fragrant. Our Confetti Jasmine looks to have died over the winter, both plants, we are borderline on the zone for them.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Absolutely gorgeous!

tina said...

Very pretty and I love the fragrance.


Loveliest post - pictures and text; I can almost get the fragrance of the flowers. You are a magician!

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

It's so pretty. No wonder I didn't recognize it, mine still hasn't bloomed. Yours are much prettier. You obviously know how to take care of it!

Shailaja said...

So, I was right! But I had to be, just last week I had three perfect jasmine blooms perfuming my entire garden. I can smell them again through your pics!

NellJean said...

Such beautiful jasmines!

We grow Trachelospermum jasminoides, not a true jasmine, but named to honor the wonderful jasmine-like perfume produced by this vine.

You asked about growing Gardenias in a pot. There are cultivars that are suited to container culture, just maybe not the one you saw at the nursery. I sometimes start them in a pot and they do very well. When they grow large, I put them in the garden soil.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Oh, lovely! The post and the pics of all the blooms! It's interesting and fun to catch up with all the ancient details, Chandramouli.

Chandramouli S said...

Thank you, Zindagi.

Thank you, Sherrie :) May be you could grow them this summer. Give it a go. They're the most beautiful and fragrant flowers!

Chandramouli S said...

Randy Emmitt: You're so right about the photos and fragrance. Somehow their beauty suggest you something about their fragrance. Confetti Jasmine? Never heard of them. Google brings up Confetti jasmine RICE! Just curious, do you know its Botanical name? Is it fragrant too?

Morning Glories in Round Rock: Thank you so much :) I'm sure the Jâtî family would love to hear that.

Tina: Thank you, of course you would. You have them in your garden too? If not may be this summer?

Raji Muthukrishnan: Thank you, Ma'am. Those comments make be feel great.

Catherine: More than my care, I'd give credit to the weather. Good luck with yours blooming soon. Just give them as much sun as you can and flower food (I've heard Miracle-Gro does magic) and they'd do great.

Shailaja: Ahhh! So you know how great it smells! Nice to hear. Would love to see your garden in your blog soon.

NellJean: Oh, the confederate Jasmine! I've heard they're great climbers with great scent!

Oh! I'm still not sure if I should get the Gardenia, but I love them after seeing it in so many blogs around. May be I'll wait before making the decision. thank you so much for the info.

anak: My pleasure, Kanak. I have this obsession with our Ancient Culture. Only it's difficult to get authenticate information - what with so many twisted and assumed translators! [sigh]

Anonymous said...

Hi Chandramouli, thanks for this exposition on the jasmines. I love hearing the lore and stories and this is a most beautiful plant family. The blossoms besides the green tea to give it fragrance is a compelling tale. Now I am hankering for some Jasmine tea! :-)

Chandramouli S said...

My pleasure, Frances. What are you waiting for? Go sopping for Jasmine tea and feed some peace to your mind.

Marie said...

I wish I could grow Jasmine and Gardenia in my scented garden. They are not hardy here but can be used as houseplant that spend the summer outdoors.

The biggest problem here is finding a plant that is not full of bugs. I have bought several gardenia plants and one Jasmine from different nurseries. All of them were infested. But, I keep looking.

I'm putting a daphne (Daphne burkwoodii – Carol Mackie) in the scented garden this year. This shrub has a lovely fragrance and tolerates the zone 6b climate.

Anonymous said...

I love the scent of Jasmine, you have some beautiful varieties in your garden! Thanks for the folklore behind this fragrant plant.

Anonymous said...

I wish computers came complete with fragrance, so that I could enjoy the lovely scents! My columbine only came with the name "Red and White" so I don't know it's real name. I haven't seen any bees yet, but I keep hoping they will return soon and bring the butterflies with them. And the hummerbirds are supposed to like columbines, and I love to see hummers too!

Chandramouli S said...

Marie: In fact we don't have that problem here, because almost 90% of the plants you buy would be infested. LOL! No, seriously! I did that mistake when I began gardening and my Hibiscuses are still fighting against the Villains because of my stupid mistake :(

Hope you find a Jasmine plant soon, as a scented garden would be incomplete without it.

Racquel: Thank you :) My pleasure.

Msrobin: Oh, wish that too! Who knows? May be that day isn't too far!
Good luck with bees finding their way to your Columbines. The one that I mentioned grows in Himalayas here. Wow! I'd love to have hummers here, only they wouldn't come :(
Good luck with them all finding their way soon into your beautiful nest.

MarionL said...

How beautiful she is! Looks a lot like my little Gardenia bush and I bet it's even more fragrant. What would we do without flowers? The earth would be a sad place!

My husband and I were in a store in Natchitoches, Louisiana where we attended an art festival and a man came running in the store holding a small pink flower in his hand and eagerly asked the clerk, "Do you know the name of this flower?" She didn't, but I did and told him it was an Azalea (there are literally thousands of them blooming around here now---explosions of pinks, lavenders and white). It just made me feel good all over because I knew he was going to head to a local plant nursery and buy him some Azalea bushes! Thanks for your wonderful blog. It never fails to touch my heart. Blessings....

walk2write said...

Ah, I can almost smell the flowers, Chandramouli. What wonderful background information you've given us. Thank you! We have gardenias in our garden but no jasmine. The blossoms look very similar, though. They'll be opening up in late spring here.

Chandramouli S said...

MarionL: Oh, I wish I could grow gardenia too ever since I saw it in my local nursery. I can't even image the world without flowers! Oh no! I wouldn't want to be born at all. In fact I don't prefer crotons for that reason.

Ahhhh! Thanks for sharing the incidence. I'm sure you felt great! Thank you :)

walk2write: I'll be looking forward to your gardenia blooms in your post. at least I'll satisfy myself with he photos for now.

Bren said...

Wonderful document of photography..... I have been following the Willow Tree as it blooms. I hope to blog about it soon on my garden blog and you have given me inspiration to share that study.

Happy Spring!

Chandramouli S said...

Wow, that's so kind of you, Bren. Thank you so much. Welcome to Plantville. Oh, I'd love to hear about your Willow Tree. I LOVE trees, only I can't grow them as I'm constrained to my terrace ... for now. I'll be waiting for your blog on the Willy The Willow!

CrazyAbtBeingCrazy said...

Hi, can you please help me with some tips for plant maintanenance? I have a jasmine and a rose plant, currently they are in good shape (although not flowering). Am really worried about their health, coz am sure this scorching heat would harm them. What do I do to keep them nourished and fight the various odds ? I cant bear and watch them fade / dry.

Chandramouli S said...

CrazyAbtBeingCrazy: Ermmm... I'm not an expert at gardening and I still rate myself an amateur, but I'll share my experiences with you and this is by no way the theoretical methods.

First of all, it's great to see from your blog that you have a green thumb and passion to attract birds. My Hats off to you! I started with the same intention and I'm still thriving to improve myself.

Good to hear that your plants are in good shape. There are really many things to consider. Like I used to think that a Hibiscus that I bought from the Horticultural Society was really healthy as it's blooms were supercool and leaves looked fine to me. By that time, the aphids were just beginning to breed and I had no idea about it. So I was unaware of it and one fine day saw yellow and black dots on my buds and eating them away! But lord! It was late already and I helped them spread to others too. So first thing is are you sure that the plants are perfectly healthy? May be you should check out their undersides... and many more things like that. I begin with a plant by studying about their leaves, blooms, their flowering seasons, their soil requirements, sun requirement (don't worry about them getting scorched. Roses and Jasmine bask in the full sun, of course they'd need watering twice - depends again (the-insert-finger-into-the-soil method should tell you if they need water or not)).
Now that you know what's normal for your plants, next study as to what kinds of diseases and pests they are prone to and look at photos of infested foliage so that you can make sure that your plants are perfectly healthy.
If you want really specific information, do feel free mail me at I'll be glad to write to you everything I know about them.
Happy gardening!

CrazyAbtBeingCrazy said...

Thank you so much Chandramouli... tht was real good guidance i can take up.... surething i will inspect my plants and get back to you for any queries... thank you so much....

Lively said...

A very fragrant post. Jasmine is my favourite...the intoxicating fragrance...

Chandramouli S said...

Lively: Thank you. Ahhh, yes! Very intoxicating. It's my fave too and it's my fantasy to grow all the available Jasmine variety in India. I know, that's asking for too much, but hey, it's a fantasy!