Friday, February 17th, 2012...7:37 am

Jasminum nudiflorum or Jessamine or Winter Jasmine

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Winter jasmine – Winterjasmin (Jasminum nudiflorum) by Maggi_94

Is spring here already? We on the East Coast in Temperature Hardiness Zone 6, have not really had any real winter weather. And now many of the early spring flowers are in bloom or starting to bloom. Should we worry? No one can predict whether a snowstorm will wipe out these early flowers. I hope not.

One of the earliest flowering shrubs, one that I have seen flowering in my area, is Jasmine nudiflorum. It is also listed as Jasminum nudiflorum or Jessamine. The common names are winter jasmine or hardy jasmine. I first saw it blooming on a high overpass in Central Park in Manhattan. On first sighting, I thought it was a rare forsythia because the color of the flower was the same brilliant yellow of the typical forsythia. When I could get close enough, one could see that the flower is not really the same as the forsythia flower.

028-jasmin d’hiver.winter jasmine by dadoobe

This winter I have enjoyed its bloom at Grounds for Sculpture where it is in bloom on the roof of their warming hut, a cute building where guests can go indoors to warm hands and toes in front of a fire with its attached pen where one can view the peafowls that stay warm and dry with the young birds during cold weather. I also discovered the winter Jasmine blooming around a “bridge” at the end of the acer allee in the Grounds for Sculpture park.

I love seeing this shrub in bloom when nothing else has any flowers and wondered why it wasn’t more popular. Though it is a shrub, it looks so pretty when planted against a wall or on a roof garden or cascading down a bank like a vine. All the sites where I have seen it growing allows Jasmine nudiflorum to cascade.

I don’t have a bank on my property which would be ideal to plant the hardy jasmine; but I thought it might look good if I could train it to grow against a dead tree stump. So I bought this Chinese beauty to plant in my garden.

Jasmine nudiflorum or winter jasmine is a slender deciduous shrub with arching green stems that have a tendency to creep along the ground or climb or cascade.The unscented flowers are solitary and are produced in the leaf axils before the leaves emerge. It can bloom from November through March. It grows in Hardiness Temperature Zones 6 through 10. The shrub can grow to about 4 ft tall when unsupported and over 10 ft high with support. It takes well to pruning and can be pruned to make a 3 ft. hedge- you can rejuvenate it every 5 or so years by cutting it down to 6 inches or you can prune it hard if it becomes infested with spider mites.

Winter jasmine likes full sun but will grow in partial shade in warmer zones. It seems to tolerate any fertile soil type so long as the soil drains well. In the spring you can side-dress the shrub with composted manure or compost and fertilize it during the growth period with a low nitrogen fertilizer about once a month.  See here.

 

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