The Melati (Jasminum Sambac)
Jasminum SambacJasminum sambac (syn. Nyctanthes sambac) is a species of jasmine native to southern Asia, in India, Philippines, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Common names include Arabian Jasmine, Mogra (Hindi), Kampupot, Melati (Malay and Indonesian Language), Sampaguita (Tagalog), and Mallipu (Tamil).It is an evergreen vine or shrub reaching up to 1-3 m tall. The leaves are opposite or in whorls of three, simple (not pinnate, like most other jasmines), ovate, 4-12.5 cm long and 2-7.5 cm broad. The flowers are produced in clusters of 3-12 together, strongly scented, with a white corolla 2-3 cm diameter with 5-9 lobes. The flowers open at night, and close in the morning. The fruit is a purple-black berry 1 cm in diameter.Cultivation and usesIt is widely grown throughout the tropics as an ornamental plant for its strongly scented flowers. Numerous cultivars have been selected, including some with double flowers such as Jasminum sambac or 'Duke of Tuscany'.It is the national flower of the Philippines, adopted by its government in 1937. In the Philippines, the flowers are gathered and strung into leis, corsages and crowns or its oils distilled and sold in stores, streets, and outside churches. The garlands may be used to welcome guests, or as an offering or adornment in religious altars.Philippines sampaguita Indonesia melatiEnlargePhilippines sampaguita Indonesia melatiBesides the Philippines, it is also the national flower of Indonesia, which was adopted by Indonesian government in 1990 along with Moon Orchid (Phalaenopsis amabilis) and Rafflesia arnoldii. In Indonesia, the flower symbolizes purity, eternal love and nobility. It also symbolizes the beauty of a girl. The flower is commonly used in religious or cultural ceremony especially in Java and Bali. It is nicknamed puspa bangsa (nation flower or people flower) by the government.In Hawaii, the flower is known as "pikake" or "pikaki," and is used to make fragrant leis. In South India, jasmines are strung into thick strands and worn as a hair adornment. In China, the flower is processed and used as the main ingredient in jasmine tea.