Trachelospermum jasminoides

Trachelospermum jasminoides

This is an evergreen, twining climber from China, Japan and Korea, which performs well in Sydney. It has glossy, dark green leaves and is smothered in starry white perfumed flowers in November and early December. Known colloquially as star jasmine, it is not from the same family as the Jasminum genus, belonging instead to the Apocynaceae, which contains a number of plants which do well in our climate, including the frangipani (Plumeria), Mandevilla, Carissa and Catharanthus.

Trachelospermum jasminoides decorates a verandah

Star jasmine will flower well in shaded sites. It is reasonably well behaved; it is slow to establish but once it gets going it may try to stray beyond its boundaries. It may ultimately climb to 6-9m. I usually cut it back quite hard after flowering is over to keep it under control and trim off any questing tendrils occasionally during the rest of the year.

Trachelospermum jasminoides Tricolor

It can be used on pergolas, posts, verandahs and walls; it can be trained on wires in patterns, clipped as a garden edging or used as a groundcover. There is a creamy-white variegated version and one with pinkish new growth, called 'Tricolor' - however, I find this cultivar shy to flower. It does not seem to grow as vigorously as the plain-leaved version. It provides a pretty foliage effect in shade and can be matched by plants with flowers of a similar pink hue. It makes an effective groundcover and can look good as an infill to an area surrounded by a low hedge.

Flowers in November, December.