1221 Murraya paniculataCommon Names: orange jasmine, mock orange, orange jessamine, lakeview jasmine, satinwood, Chinese box, cosmetic bark tree Family: Rutaceae (citrus Family)
Orange jasmine can be a large, multi-stemmed shrub or a small tree, maxing out around 10-12 ft (3-4 m) in height. Judicious pruning usually keeps cultivated specimens smaller and with a single trunk. Orange jasmine has shiny dark green compound leaves with 3-9 more or less oval 2 in (5 cm) leaflets. Unlike many other citrus family shrubs, orange jasmine does not have thorns. The pretty white flowers are about a half inch (12 mm) in diameter and borne in rounded clusters 2-4 in (5-10 cm) across. They are very aromatic with a sweet fragrance reminiscent of orange and jasmine blossoms. The 5-petaled flowers are followed by 1 in (2.5 cm) football shaped red fruits with one or two seeds. The fruits are edible, but rather tasteless.
Orange jasmine is native to southeastern Asia, including China India and the Malay Peninsula, south to Australia. It is widely grown as an ornamental in tropical areas, including South Florida and southern California and as a patio/potted plant elsewhere.
Light: Orange jasmine does well in full sun to partial shade, but seems to do best in dappled, partial shade. Moisture: Once established in the ground, orange jasmine is quite tolerant of drought. Potted plants should be watered regularly when the soil is almost dry, but be sure the soil is well drained. Hardiness: USDA Zones 10 - 11. Orange jasmine can survive brief periods of freezing temperatures, reportedly as low as 25° F (-4°C). It would probably survive in zone 9B. Propagation: Orange jasmine is usually propagated from seed, and it often self seeds around the parent plant. Cuttings are easy enough to start, too. Take young, fast growing stem tips, and insert in a porous medium, preferably under mist.
Orange jasmine’s glossy dark green foliage makes a dramatic backdrop for the highly fragrant cream colored flowers which grace the shrub several times a year. The small red fruits are decorative as well. In tropical areas orange jasmine is often grown as a formal hedge or screen (like a boxwood (Buxus sempervirens); hence the name, Chinese box). It responds very well to pruning and is one of the very best shrubs for a formal, squared off hedge, if that is your desire. Orange jasmine is also used as a specimen shrub in frost free climates, and is a popular potted patio plant in southern California and South Florida, where it is called lakeview jasmine. Elsewhere, orange jasmine makes an outstanding indoor potted plant next to a bright window, or on the patio during the summer.
Orange jasmine is a member of the citrus family, and as you would expect, bees flock to the flowers. With its dense, evergreen glossy foliage and adaptability to intense pruning, orange jasmine is a favorite choice for topiary and bonsai applications.
There are just five species in the genus Murraya, all native to southeast Asia from China and India to Australia. Orange jasmine is quite similar to its New World relative, Mexican orange (Choisya ternata), and is used in the same ways.
Steve Christman 8/7/14