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Re: Another houseplant

Auralie, Smith [A Gardener's Handbook of Plant Names] says "Jasmine [sometimes called jessamine]..." which I take to mean that the latter is merely a corruption of the former.

Cestrum nocturnum was one of the first plants we planted when we bought the plantation. It's a butterfly plant as well as a perfumer. Ours look pretty awful most of the year owing to their being lunch and dinner for one or another larva. But I think it's worth putting up with their rag-tag appearance for their blooming.

On Mar 19, 2005, at 9:57 AM, wrote:

Well, actually this isn't intended to be a houseplant.  I have a
Cestrum nocturnum - what we called a night-blooming jasmine
when I was a child.  It grows outside as a shrub in Florida, but
is quite tender.  A friend gave me a spray a few years ago,
which I rooted and have growing in a container.  It doesn't make
a good houseplant - to keep it in the container I must cut it
back sharply in the fall to bring it in, and then it gets quite
leggy and awkward-looking during the winter.  I had not
paid it much attention all winter other than to keep it from
drying out.  Two nights ago I was startled to sense a familiar
fragrance - yes, I remembered it very well.  The plant has a
couple of branches of flowers that opened last night and have
perfumed the entire house.  The plant is in the basement, but
the aroma has reached the entire house.  It fades during the
day, but again last evening the scent began to build and this
morning the whole house is permeated with the fragrance.
What a surprise.  I know it's officially spring, but with our
snow-covered landscape it could easily be midwinter, but
it smells like summer.

This is listed in the Taylor Encyclopedia as
Night Jessamine. I have another "jessamine" - Gelsemium
sempervirens, or Carolina Jessamine, which is not only another
genus - it's even another plant family. To my southern ear
Jessamine and Jasmine sound alike, and the flowers are
basically similar.  What makes the difference?  (I know,
Jasmine is a genus in still another plant family, but where
does Jessamine come from?)

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Island Jim
Southwest Florida
27.0 N, 82.4 W
Hardiness Zone 10
Heat Zone 10
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
Maximum 100 F [38 C]

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