Pinwheel Jasmine

The common name of jasmine is used for a variety of plants that aren't even jasmines. Pinwheel jasmine is one of them. The botanical name is Tabernaemontana divaricata. It is also know as Butterfly Gardenia. You see how common names will get you into trouble? Anyway this is a gorgeous plant with rich green shiny leaves and white fragrant flowers. The flowers look like little pinwheels-hence the common name.

It grows well in partial shade- filtered sun throughout the day or half day of sun. The ideal size for this plant is 4-6 ' tall and 4-6 wide. It does not like to be heavily pruned or constantly hacked back as plants are in Florida. Plant it in a space that allows for this growth. If you try to keep it under 4' it will not bloom. Now, did I say that it is more fragrant at night, so plant it near a patio or deck where you can enjoy it's fragrance. My experience with this plant is that it likes slightly rich soil. I have planted it in manure enriched soil as well as topsoil. In both these cases the plant thrived. I always use an organic fertilizer twice a year.

When you try to find this plant, start by asking for Pinwheel Jasmine but bring the Botanical Name with you and your local nursery will help you.

I wanted to add a few more pictures of this beautiful plant I collected this week.  Watch out for the gnomes living under the plant.  This plant was in late afternoon sun with shade all morning and throughout the midday. You can see that it is large and more compact then the photo above.  It has plenty of room and a bit more sunlight.