Jasmine is a climbing vine in the olive family found throughout tropical areas of Europe, Asia and Africa. The rose-like blooms of the plant are prized for their beauty and delicate fragrance.
Jasmine flowers, which symbolize motherhood, are made into garlands or worn in the hair. The flowers are also tinctured to produce perfume and are added to tea blends.
A blurb on the history and folklore of jasmine
Jasmine represents a genus of more than 200 flowering vines and shrubs of the Oleaceae family, which includes the olive tree. Common jasmine, (Jasminum officinale), also known as poet's jasmine, is the species revered for its floral scent. The plant has been grown as an ornamental and for its highly fragrant flowers for centuries in China, Japan and throughout Southeast Asia and Indonesia. Jasmine is also the national flower of Pakistan, where it is commonly known as "Chambeli."
An oil produced from the flowers called jasmine absolute is so prized for its
scent that it's referred to as the "King of Oils." Not surprisingly, this oil is a bit
pricey, not just because of its popularity but because it takes a lot of flowers
to produce a small amount of oil. However, the cost of its use in perfumery and
cosmetics is tempered by the fact that only a tiny amount is needed to capture
Jasmine flowers are commonly enjoyed in China as a tea, sometimes combined
with green or black teas. In fact, "flowering teas" are hand woven from bundled
tea leaves with a closed jasmine flower bud at the center, which appears to bloom as the bundle unfolds in response to steeping in hot water.
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. Thecalyx is bell-shaped. They are usually very fragrant. The fruits of jasmines are berries that turn black when ripe.
Jasmine tea is consumed in China, where it is called jasmine-flower tea (茉莉花茶; pinyin: mò lì huā chá). Jasminum sambac flowers are also used to make jasmine tea, which often has a base of green tea or white tea, but sometimes an Oolong base is used. Flowers and tea are "mated"[clarification needed] in machines that control temperature and humidity. It takes four hours or so for the tea to absorb the fragrance and flavor of the jasmine blossoms, and for the highest grades, this process may be repeated as many as seven times. It must be refired to prevent spoilage. The spent flowers may or may not be removed from the final product, as the flowers are completely dry and contain no aroma. Giant fans are used to blow away and remove the petals from the denser tea leaves.
In Okinawa, Japan, jasmine tea is known as sanpin cha (さんぴん茶).
Jasmine syrup, made from jasmine flowers, is used as a flavoring agent.
Fresh, Dried, powdered