Jasminum officinale facts for kids

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Jasminum officinale
Botanical illustration of Jasminum officinale
Scientific classification
Species: Template:Taxonomy/JasminumJ. officinale
Binomial name
Jasminum officinale
L.

Jasminum officinale, known as the common jasmine or simply jasmine, is a species of flowering plant in the olive family Oleaceae.

Description

Common Jasmine
Common (officinale) Jasmine

Jasminum officinale is a vigorous, twining, bright, deciduous climber with sharply pointed pinnate leaves and clusters of starry, pure white flowers in summer, which are the source of its heady scent.

For thousands of years, the jasmine has been cultivated not only for the beauty of its small, white, star-like flowers, but also for its intoxicating scent.

It is also known as summer jasmine, poet's jasmine, white jasmine, true jasmine or jessamine, and is particularly valued by gardeners throughout the temperate world for the intense fragrance of its flowers in summer. It is also the National flower of Pakistan.

As an herbal medicine, it is used in dermatology as either an antiseptic or anti-inflammatory agent.

Safety

This oil can cause irritation in some people if used too frequently or in high concentrations, so use with caution, preferably in low concentrations. A major component of jasmine is benzyl acetate which is known to be absorbed through the skin. Those who show allergies to spicy food, perfumes and cosmetics are most likely to react.

History

Coat of arms of Pakistan
Floral wreath of jasmine shrubs representing the shield of Pakistan

It is native to the foothills of the Western Himalayas and the Indus Valley plains of the Pakistani Punjab. The plant was cultivated and brought to the rest of the Indian subcontinent, China, the Middle East and other regions of Asia. From there, it spread into France, Italy and the Mediterranean, and eventually it was introduced to the rest of Western Europe and Britain. Today, jasmine is grown and cultivated all over the world in its many varieties.

Since jasmine has been cultivated all over the world for its flowers and scent, there are different varieties, and each type of jasmine is associated with different meanings. In Pakistan, Jasmine is a very common plant and one can find it in any garden. Because of its attractive scent, the white jasmine symbolizes attachment and represents amiability and modesty; therefore, Jasmine was named the national flower of Pakistan.

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Jasminum officinale Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.