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Trachelospermum jasminoides, commonly known as the star jasmine, is a popular climbing vine that is native to tropical and sub-tropical evergreen forests of China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. It has traditional uses in Korean and Chinese medicine. The liana is cultivated as a landscape ornamental in sunny areas with warm-temperate climates. It can behave as a shrub or climbing vine, able to reach heights of three meters. It is deer resistant and has a low risk of becoming an invasive species when cultivated. The foliage is evergreen and the plant produces jasmine-scented, white flowers during the dry season. The plant exudes a white latex when cut. The leaves are opposite and some varieties are variegated. The flowers are produced on cymes and the flowers have five petals. The flowers have five to ten basal glands which emit the jasmine scent. The pleasant fragrance can be extracted from the flowers as an essential oil. Trachelospermum jasminoides can be host to several endophytic fungi that produce valuable medicinal secondary metabolites (Huang, et al 2008). The liana produces lignans which are phytoestrogens being researched for their antioxidant effects (Higden, 2005). The entire plant is considered poisonous and should not be consumed.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Melissa Jackson, Oregon State University

Source: BOT 323 Flowering Plants of the World, Oregon State University

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