jasmine (jăsˈmĭn, jăz–) [key] or jessamine jĕsˈəmĭn, any plant of the genus Jasminum of the family Oleaceae (olive family). The genus, which includes shrubs and clambering plants, is an Old World group, chiefly of tropical and subtropical regions but cultivated elsewhere, outdoors in mild climates and in greenhouses farther north. The blossoms, mostly white or yellow, are usually very fragrant, some being used for scenting tea; the oil obtained from the flowers is utilized in perfumery. The common jasmine (  J. officinale ) has white flowers and glossy deciduous leaves. Both names are often given to other plants, such as Cape jasmine (see madder) and Carolina jasmine (see logania). Jasmine is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Scrophulariales, family Oleaceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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