Trachelospermum species, hybrids and cultivars
Other Common names: Chinese Star Jasmine, Confederate Jasmine
Also commonly known as Chinese Star Jasmine or Confederate Jasmine, this climber is not a true Jasmine (genus Jasminum) and is is not even in the same family. It is actually more closely related to frangipani and oleander. The profusion of white or yellow intensely fragrant flowers it produces in spring, as well as its climbing habit, is reminiscent of the true jasmines. Indeed the specific name jasminoides means "like jasmine". In older texts may be listed as Rhynchospermum jasminoides.
It's popular in warm climates for its ease of growth, drought tolerance and relative freedom from pests and diseases. They are best in full sun. but will take part shade (although the may flower less)
Clipped back from time to time, it could be an alternative to a regular shrub-based hedge when trained on a support. This technique could be used to disguise an ugly old fence rather having to remove the fence and repace it or wait years for a regular hedge to achieve the desired height. Trachelospermum leaves are rather like lillypillies in appearence.
This species can also be grown as a groundcover. Again, keep clipped for bushiness and to keep it within bounds. Over time, it can be trained to form a short self-supporting hedge or topiary.
The cut stems produce a milky sap which can stain, so protect paving with a tarpulin or similar if necessary. The sap is also a potential skin irritant.
The number of cultivars of T. jasminoides commercially available in Australia is limited. 'Tricolor' is the the most commonly encountered in SEQld, having pink and white splashes on the green foliage.
Cultivars with yellow/gold toned flowers are also sometimes available. 'Star of Toscana' is a relatively recent introduction which is quite opular overseas.
Star Jasmine was covered in Get Results Gardening in the 24-02-2023 edition. That article contains additional information. If you live in Australia, you can ask for a copy of that edition when you request a free trial (include in the message). Click on the banner below ☟for more information about this Australian email mini-magazine and how to get a free trial.
Trachelospermum jasminoides growth habit
Trachelospermum jasminoides hedge with a fence as support.
T. jasminoides in flower, used as a groundcover in a formal style. Brisbane. Late October, 2015
An old T. jasminoides grown over an arch, showing development of woody branch structure
As a groundcover
Trachelospermum jasminoides 'Tricolor'