Night blooming jasmine is a tender, tropical evergreen shrub that grows to a height of about two feet. It has small, insignificant white flowers that are unusually fragrant at night. Its botanical name is Cestrum nocturnum. Its various names from cultures around the world nearly all refer to this nocturnal aspect. The fragrance is widely used in perfumes and cosmetics. Its fragrance can be so cloyingly sweet that it can induce nausea in some people.
This common name of Cestrum nocturnum is usually used as the British spelling for "jasmine." This small evergreen shrub is widely grown as a houseplant in Britain. Native to South America, all parts of the plant are considered poisonous and can cause nausea if ingested.
Lady of the Night
The dainty white flowers, which are much more fragrant at night than during the day, are thought to be the source of this moniker. Native to India, its Hindi name (Rat ki rani) translates as "queen of the night" and its Manipuri name (Thabal lei) translates to "moonflower."
Dama de Noche
Night blooming jasmine is known in Spanish as "dama de noche" (translated as "lady of the night"). It has shown to reduce the severity of some epileptic episodes in some trials and may possess analgesic properties. Extracts of Cestrum nocturnum have been shown to kill some types of bacteria.