Jasminum angulare Vahl
Common names: wild jasmine (Eng.); wildejasmyn (Afr.); umalalala (Zulu)
An evergreen creeper or rambling shrub, with fragrant white flowers in summer; a good garden plant or pot plant for full sun to light shade.
Jasminum angulare is a scrambling and climbing shrub that can reach up to 7 m high in trees.
Branchlets are 4–6 angled, at least in part. The branchlets and leaves may be hairless or conspicuously hairy; sometimes hairy and hairless plants occur side by side.
Leaves are made up of three leaflets (3-foliate), very occasionally 5-foliate. The leaflets are variable in shape, usually broadly ovate with an acute apex. Acarodomatia (pits in the leaves - see Ecology) are often present on the under surface of the leaves, in the axils of lower veins.
The flowers are pure white, strongly fragrant and produced in flat-topped, few-flowered inflorescences at the tips of the stems, from early to mid-summer (October to January). They have a long, narrow corolla tube, usually greenish on the outside, opening to a flat, white star, made up of five petal lobes, although the occasional flower has six lobes. There are two stamens that are inside the corolla tube, with the tips of the anthers to be seen in the mouth of the tube. The style is 2-lobed and the tip is exserted. The calyx, at the base of the corolla tube, is bell-shaped, green, and 7-toothed. The fruit is a spherical berry, about 7 mm in diameter.
Jasminum angulare is not threatened, and is assessed as Least Concern (LC) according to the Red List of South African plants.
Distribution and habitat
Jasminum angulare occurs in coastal and inland bush from Ladismith in the Karoo to the Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. It is found growing among boulders on hillsides and near rivers.
Derivation of name and historical aspects
The genus name Jasminum is the Latinized version of the Arabic name for jasmine, ysmyn or yasamin meaning ‘gift from God’. The species name angulare is from Latin and means ‘angular’, referring to the angled branchlets.
Jasminum belongs in the olive family. It is a large genus of about 450 species spread through tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Africa and Australia. There are 11 species in southern Africa, where they are widespread.
The best known and most frequently cultivated jasmine is Jasminum officinale, which is indigenous to central Asia and has been cultivated for its intensely fragrant flowers since ancient times. Another indigenous jasmine that is frequently grown as an ornamental is the Starry Wild Jasmine (Jasminum multipartitum).
Acarodomatia, or ‘mite houses’ are little pits in the leaves, usually in the axils of the veins, and are occupied by mites. The mites usually benefit the plant in some way, either by preying on other mites and insects, or consuming fungi.
The flowers are probably pollinated by moths. Birds eat the berry-like fruits and disperse the seeds in their droppings.
Jasminum angulare leaves and flowers are used in traditional medicine as a protective charm against lightning.
This species is grown as an ornamental in gardens. The flowers are strongly sweet-scented and can be added to pot-pourris mixtures.
Fresh leaves are reported to be toxic to sheep and cattle, and may cause death to the animal within 8 hours of ingestion.
Growing Jasminum angulare
Grow Jasminum angulare in sun or semi-shade. It performs best in fertile, loamy, well composted soil. They can be slow to get going, but are strong growers when established. It is drought tolerant, but performs better with at least moderate watering during spring and summer. It can withstand a few degrees below freezing, but is best in frost-free regions.
Propagate Jasminum angulare by cuttings, layering or seeds. Take semi-hardwood cuttings in spring or summer, when the plants are in active growth. Treat with a rooting hormone and place in the mist unit on heated benches. Plants also send out long runners, which often root far away from the mother plant. These can be detached and potted, or the runners along the ground can be encouraged to root by layering. Sow seed in spring or summer. Clean the flesh off the berries and sow the seeds in sterile, well-drained seedling mix, keep warm and moist. Pot up when the seedlings are large enough to handle. Pot seedlings and rooted cuttings into loamy, well-composted potting soil and grow on in light shade for the first year.
Train up a trellis or arch, or along a fence, or use as a groundcover, or train into a rounded bush. This plant is particularly lovely near the house or in an area of the garden that is well visited, or around the outdoor sitting area, where the sweet scent of the flowers can be enjoyed, and they are also fragrant in the evenings. It does well in containers.
- Flora of southern Africa: Jasminum. Accessed via POSA: http://posa.sanbi.org/flora/results_browse.php?src=FloraSA&taxon=genno=1950
- Goldblatt, P. & Manning, J. 2000. Cape Plants. A conspectus of the Cape flora of South Africa. Strelitzia 9. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria & Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri.
- Hutchings, A., Scott, A.H., Lewis, G. & Cunningham, A.B. 1996. Zulu medicinal plants: an inventory. University of Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg.
- Jackson, W.P.U. 1990. Origins and meanings of names of South African plant genera . University of Cape Town.
- Leistner, O.A. (ed.). 2000. Seed plants of southern Africa: families and genera. Strelitzia 10. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
- Viljoen, C. 2004. Jasminum multipartitum Hochst. PlantZAfrica. Internet 5 pp. http://pza.sanbi.org/jasminum-multipartitum
- Wikipedia: Jasminum officinale. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasminum_officinale accesssed 29 Dec 2016.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Plant Type: Climber, Shrub
SA Distribution: Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Western Cape
Soil type: Sandy, Loam
Flowering season: Early Summer, Late Summer
PH: Acid, Neutral
Flower colour: White
Aspect: Full Sun, Morning Sun (Semi Shade), Afternoon Sun (Semi Shade)
Gardening skill: Easy