July 7, 2020

Whiff of Jasmine

Stephanotis floribunda - Madagascar jasmine

Janine Pineo Photo | Stephanotis floribunda – Madagascar jasmine

Masquerading as a jasmine is Stephanotis floribunda, known as Madagascar jasmine or Hawaiian wedding flower. This tropical member of the dogbane family is a popular houseplant and a staple in the florist trade for wedding bouquets. An evergreen vine that can grow 2 to 3 feet in length, this jasmine has clusters of waxy flowers with a notable sweet fragrance. The Madagascar native cannot tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees (making it a Zone 10 plant) and will blossom usually only in summer. It does make a perfect houseplant here in Maine, however, and can handle dry spells and a bit of neglect when watering. Interestingly, true jasmines taxonomically are identified as Jasminum and are in the olive family.