Now that tax season is over, and I am slowly coming back to normal after my broken shoulder ordeal, I am beginning to notice some of the more beautiful aspects of spring in Southern California. For me, spring in L.A. means jacaranda trees in bloom with their purple flowers. But I have written about jacarandas before—and noted that they originated in Argentina or Bolivia.
What I want to talk about today is the variously called white jasmine, pink jasmine, or—to be scientific about it, Jasminum polyanthum. Everywhere I go, there seems to be sturdy jasmine bushes with their aromatic blossoms, which last into the beginning of summer, as do the jacaranda blossoms by the way.
In a 2013 post, I misidentified our jasmine bushes as Star Jasmine, or Trachelospermum jasminoides. The Los Angeles Times set me straight in an article entitled “Jasmine, the Fragrant Harbinger of Spring.”
I love to pinch a few jasmine blossoms off the bush, rub them in my hands, and bring the sweet-smelling mixture to my nose. In my experience, only lilacs have a stronger and sweeter scent. I don’t have to go far: There is a sturdy bush right at the foot of the stairs to my second-floor apartment.
Like the jacaranda, the white jasmine is an invasive plant, but a welcome one. According to Wikipedia, it originated in the area around China and Myanmar.