Jasmines can be either deciduous (leaves falling in autumn) or evergreen (green all year round), and can be erect, spreading, or climbing shrubs and vines. Their leaves are borne opposite or alternate. They can be simple, trifoliate, or pinnate. The flowers are typically around 2.5 cm (0.98 in) in diameter. They are white or yellow in color, although in rare instances they can be slightly reddish. The flowers are borne in cymose clusters with a minimum of three flowers, though they can also be solitary on the ends of branchlets.
Each flower has about four to nine petals, two locules, and one to four ovules. They have two stamens with very short filaments. The bracts are linear or ovate. The calyx is bell-shaped. They are usually very fragrant. The fruits of jasmines are berries that turn black when ripe. The basic chromosome number of the genus is 13, and most species are diploid (2n=26). However, natural polyploidy exists, particularly in Jasminum sambac (2n=39), Jasminum flexile (2n=52), Jasminum primulinum (2n=39), and Jasminum angustifolium (2n=52). Distribution and habitat
Jasmines are native to tropical and subtropical regions of Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australasia. Their center of diversity, however, is in South and Southeast Asia. Some species have common names that do not match their region of origin. Jasminum sambac, for example, has the English common names of “Arabian jasmine” or “Tuscan jasmine”. However, it is not native to the Arabian peninsula or Western India as is commonly perceived. It is native to Southeast Asia. The Spanish jasmine or Catalonian jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum), is another example.
It is not native to the Iberian peninsula but was originally from Iran (Persia) and western South Asia. Jasmine should not be confused with the day-blooming, yellow-flowered vine, Jessamine/Carolina Jasmine::Gelsemium sempervirens, which can cause death if eaten. Jasminum fluminense (which is sometimes known by the inaccurate name “Brazilian Jasmine”) and Jasminum dichotomum (Gold Coast Jasmine) are invasive species in Hawaii and Florida. Jasminum polyanthum also known as White Jasmine is an invasive weed in Australia