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Jasminum dichotomum

Jasminum dichotomum,a member of the family Fabaceae and is also known as Gold coast jasmine, Yloma-kongoleng ma-kutt-a-kutt, Mo li, Matsuri-ka, Melati, Melor, and Mallika (Austin, 1999: 174). This species is native to tropical Africa and Asia, including western and central Africa, China, Japan, Malaysia and India (Austin, 1999: 174; Weaver & Anderson, 2012: 1). In United States, J. dichotomum is only found in Florida, but it is invasive species (NatureServe, 2015) and has been listed as a category 1 by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) (Weaver & Anderson, 2012: 1). In FLEPPC, category 1 mean “invasive exotics that are altering native plant communities by displacing native species, changing community structures or ecological functions, or hybridizing with natives” (FLEPPC, 2015). The conservation status for J. dichotomum has not been assessed (NatureServe, 2014).

Jasminum dichotomum is a shrub or vine that can reach 7.6 m, with evergreen, glossy, ovate, simple leaves (Weaver & Anderson, 2012: 1; Hammer, 2000: 13). The flowers can be white or pink and have 5-7 petals (Weaver & Anderson, 2012: 1). The flowers open at night and are fragrant (Weaver & Anderson 2012: 1). Then it is followed by abundance of black berries or dark purple berries (Hammer, 2000: 13).

Birds eat the black berries, aiding in seed dispersal (Weaver & Anderson, 2012: 1). Based on a research in Central Nigerian Reserve, there are 14 different species of birds feed on the J. dichotomum (Yilangai et al., 2014: 7). Out of those 14 species, only 5 were exclusive visitors of J. dichotomum: Common Bulbuls, village weavers, yellow-mantled widowbird, speckle-fronted weaver and yellow-fronted tinkerbird (Yilangai et al., 2014: 7). Smaller birds like yellow-fronted tinkerbird and village weaver remove the outer layer of the seed and throwing the seed away since they are not big enough to swallow the seed whole (Yilangai et al., 2014: 9). It was seen that there were more perching than feeding on J. dichotomum (Yilangai et al., 2014: 9).

The leaves, flowers, and roots have been used for different purposes, including scents in perfumes and tea, and as medicine for treating headaches, fevers, and venereal diseases (Austin, 1999: 174).


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