Jasmine sambac, also commonly referred to as the Arabian jasmine, is from the family Oleaceae or olive family. There are approximately 200 species of true jasmine that include both shrubs and vines. They originated in Asia, Europe, and Africa. There are other plants with jasmine in the name but are not related to the true jasmine. These include Confederate jasmine (trachelospermum jasminoides) and night blooming jasmine (cestrum nocturmum). The jasmine sambac is an easy plant to grow.
It is hardty in USDA zones 9 to 11. It is a tropical plant that can be grown in any warm climate but will not survive in cold climates during the winter. It prefers full sun to part shade. It grows well in moist well drained soil. The jasmine will bloom all season until the first frost unless brought indoors before the cold. In can be grown in gardens and container pots. Jasmine is planted near walkways, open doors and windows, and on decks and patios where the sweet fragrance can emanate through the air.
The jasmine sambac has glossy, dark green leaves with sweet smelling white flowers. The leaves of some varieties grow in spirals of three and others grow in opposite pairs. The shoots are long and the flowers are one inch across. They bloom in clusters of 3 to 12 and turn pinkish as they fade. The most common cultivar is the 'Grand Duke of Tuscany,' which has double flowers that resemble gardenias.
The Arabian jasmine is referred to as a shrub although it is really a vine. It will grow along a trellis, fences, or any other firm areas. It grows up to 5 feet and spreads as wide. It can spread quickly if not controlled. The jasmine requires pruning to keep a shrub shape and to aid in flowering profusely all season long.
If grown outside, jasmine sambac can be easily propagated. Due to its tendency to spread, there are many shoots underneath the plant that emerge from the ground. Jasmine can also be propagated through semi-ripe cuttings in the summer. The cuttings need to be kept moist and in the shade until they are large and sturdy enough to plant outside.
The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council has put this species on its list of Category II exotic invasives. This ranking indicates how quickly the vine can spread if it's not kept under control. The jasmine sambac can make a beautiful addition to any garden or container as long as it is not allowed to spread to unwanted areas, particularly where it will take up nutrients and water needed by local native plants and vegetation.