The colour yellow is much appreciated in gardens in the dark, wintry days leading up to Christmas. This explains the popularity of Winter Jasmine. The shrub’s cheery, yellow flowers stand out. You cannot fail to notice it.
Winter Jasmine is a member of the Oleaceae or Olive family. It goes by the name Jasminum nudiflorum in botanical Latin. The epithet nudiflorum means naked flower and describes the way the flowers appear on its naked, arching stems. Unlike other Jasmine flowers, it is not noted for its fragrance and does not have a twining habit. Its outstanding winter performance has won recognition with an RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM). It can be trained against a garden wall or trellis, sprawl as ground cover or cascade over a garden wall. It tolerates severe pruning and rewards the gardener with a profusion of yellow flowers.
The shrub originates from China. We owe its arrival in the UK to the famous, Scottish plant hunter, Robert Fortune (1812-1880). The exploits of the plant hunters in colonial times are now being cast in a new light. Fortune cannot really claim to have discovered the many plants he collected. It beggars belief that the Chinese might not have noticed their native plants for centuries. Indeed, the Chinese name of Winter Jasmine is Yingchun. It means the flower that welcomes spring. I think the Chinese noticed it.
© Karen Andrews
References and Further Reading
- Candide (2020): Winter Jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum. Candide Gardening.
- Fry, Carolyn (2017): The Plant Hunters. Kew/André Deutsch
- Gardenia (2020): Jasminum nudiflorum (Winter Jasmine). Gardenia.net
- RHS (2020): Jasminum nudiflorum, winter jasmine. RHS Gardening.
- Wikipedia (2020): Jasminum nudiflorum
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