Sicilian jasmine

The Sicilian jasmine: the origin, the origin of the name and its diffusion

Sicilian jasmine is an evergreen climbing plant of the Oleaceae family and one of the most common jasmine in Italy, in particular in Sicily and Calabria. It is native to the regions of ancient Persia and India, brought to Europe by the Arabs starting from Spain and Sicily, and is in fact commonly called Spanish jasmine or, in Italy, Sicilian jasmine. Its scientific name is Jasminum grandiflorum, the generic name Jasminum derives from the Persian Jasamin and the Arabic jsmin white flower, while the specific attribute refers to the size of the flowers. It has been known since ancient times and appreciated not only for its splendid flowering but also for the essential oil obtained from the flowers, widely used in herbal medicine and perfumery.

Its appearance, the specific characteristics of leaves and flowers

The Sicilian jasmineit has a climbing shrub with thin stems and can reach 2-3 meters in height, but it tends to grow into a bush, its leaves are composed, formed by an odd number of leaflets, between 5 and 11, opposite, shiny and waxy, of intense green color and lanceolate with pointed apex. Flowering outdoors usually occurs from June to October, while for specimens grown in indoor pots it can last until late winter. The flowers are large, solitary, star-shaped, with an intense and recognizable scent, while the buds are pink, the mature flowers are a beautiful pure white slightly pink on the underside of the petals. They bloom at the axil of the leaf and group in apical racemes,

The needs of light, temperature, water, reproduction

The Sicilian jasmineit prefers a dry climate and a very sunny position sheltered from the wind, if planted in shady areas the flowers will be less numerous and fragrant. It does not tolerate stagnation of water and temperatures below zero. As mentioned, where the winters are severe it would be advisable to grow it indoors. Watering will be carried out according to the climatic conditions, in principle the plant needs water when the soil is almost dry, so that it remains just slightly humid. Planting can take place at any time of the year, if you intend to plant it in the garden, you need to dig a large hole and provide it with supports on which to climb and develop such as grids, arches, stakes; however, Sicilian jasmine is particularly suitable for growing in pots. Reproduction can take place by sowing, offshoot or cutting, the last system is certainly preferable because it is more effective, practical and fast. We proceed in spring to the vegetative restart, cutting off a twig with two nodes which is put to root in the shade in moist soil for 1-3 months.

The Sicilian jasmine does not require too frequent and demanding care. The most important intervention is pruning, necessary for the plant to develop in an orderly way, to give it the desired shape and to reinvigorate it, for this purpose, preferably in spring, in young seedlings it is advisable to shorten the larger shoots by two thirds in so as to favor the formation of new castings; the cut branches can be used to form cuttings. For adult plants it will be sufficient to shorten the oldest branches and eliminate those that are dry or not in perfect health to prevent the plant from getting sick through them. As far as fertilization is concerned, it is good to provide the plant with a slow release granular fertilizer at the beginning of spring and at the end of summer. For potted specimens, proceed every 20-30 days throughout the growing season. In autumn, to protect the roots from frost, the soil around the plant can be covered with dry leaves and straw. Even if it is a resistant plant, it can be attacked by aphids and scale insects or in too humid environments by fungi. It is necessary to intervene with specific products.

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