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What Is Night Blooming Jasmine?

Night Blooming Jasmine, a plant that unfurls its fragrant flowers under the moon's glow, is nature's evening enchantress. Its scent, most potent at night, captivates and soothes, transforming gardens into nocturnal paradises. This botanical wonder is not just a feast for the senses but a topic rich with cultural and horticultural significance. What secrets does it hold within its petals? Continue reading to uncover the mystique of this twilight beauty.
Deneatra Harmon
Deneatra Harmon

Night blooming jasmine, or Cestrum nocturnum, is a shrub that features glossy dark-green foliage and fragrant white flower clusters. This low-maintenance plant grows 4 to 6 feet wide (approximately 1.2 to 1.8 m), and as tall as 12 feet (approximately 3.6 m). The plant usually debuts during the spring season and it thrives best in summer-like weather conditions. Some gardeners prefer to accent their gardens and landscapes by planting this popular jasmine.

The Cestrum nocturnum plant goes by several names and originates from tropical environments as part of the Solanaceae family of plants, herbs, and trees. Latin for the nightshade family, the Solanaceae group comprises more than 2,000 plant species in addition to the night blooming jasmine as of 2011. Besides flowering fragrant plants like the petunia, the jasmine is also related to agricultural plants such as the potato and the tomatillo. The night blooming jasmine and other plants in the family grow in mostly tropical places such as the West Indies, as well as locations that reside in USDA zones 8 through 11, where temperatures range anywhere from 10° Fahrenheit (approximately -9.5° Celsius) to higher than 40° Fahrenheit (above 4.5° Celsius). Other names for this nightshade relative include night jessamine, night-blooming cestrum, and. because it’s a late bloomer, the jasmine is sometimes known as Queen of the Night or Lady of the Night.

Jasmine requires bright sunlight to grow.
Jasmine requires bright sunlight to grow.

Careful cultivation helps the night blooming jasmine develop its glossy evergreen leaves and stems, as well as its perfume-scented petals. Propagation methods begin during the spring season with fertilization, and gardeners can use the plant’s cuttings to get started. Light, sandy soils bode well for planting jasmine, as well as bright sunlight for nourishment. Night blooming jasmine also thrives in moist, but not waterlogged, soil. During any given warm summer evening, the bright white blossoms of the cestrum plant add light to a garden and emit a strong perfumed scent.

Some jasmine teas are made using fragrant night-blooming jasmine.
Some jasmine teas are made using fragrant night-blooming jasmine.

The features of the night blooming jasmine can sometimes add beauty to most settings, or it can stand alone. The perennial also provides a food source for caterpillars when planted in butterfly gardens. Besides backyard or garden landscapes, the jasmine can be planted as a border or in the background with other flowers. Little maintenance is required of the night blooming jasmine, as it only needs protection from early morning frost and the leaves need occasional trimming.

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Discussion Comments


My grandparents have this in their garden in Florida. I spend the summers there and I love the smell of this plant. I think it smells like candy. My grandparents are very fond of it because apparently, it is also a common plant in India. We are originally from India. My grandmother said that it's called "the Queen of the Night" there.


@discographer-- I think that you're confusing this shrub with jasminum fluminense a.k.a. Brazilian jasmine. It's not your fault though because some sources also refer to jasminum fluminense as the night blooming jasmine. I don't know they give the same names to different plants and jasmine varieties. It's confusing and not everyone is an expert on plants. Anyway, jasminum fluminense is known to be the most fragrant jasmine variety. Although it has "jasmine" in the name, cestrum nocturnum is in a different family.

Although this plant and its flowers look different from true jasmine, it is also very beautiful and fragrant. In fact, I thin that night blooming jasmine is more fragrant than some official jasmine varieties.

The best part about this shrub is that it requires little care and grows well in both sun and part shade. And it can be grown in USDA zones 8-11. Most jasmines grow only in zones 10 and 11 so night blooming jasmine is a bit more tolerant.


Is it true that the night blooming jasmine is the most fragrant jasmine variety?

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    • Jasmine requires bright sunlight to grow.
      By: federicofoto
      Jasmine requires bright sunlight to grow.
    • Some jasmine teas are made using fragrant night-blooming jasmine.
      By: Igor Normann
      Some jasmine teas are made using fragrant night-blooming jasmine.
    • Certain caterpillars feed on night blooming jasmine plants.
      By: epantha
      Certain caterpillars feed on night blooming jasmine plants.