Hawaiian Jasmine Plant Information
Hawaiian jasmine has many names. Botanically it is known as Jasminum sambac. Its common names include the pikake and rose pikake. Sometimes this species is also known as Arabian jasmine. It is a flowering tropical vine with fragrant, five-petaled white flowers.
- The common names are deceptive. Hawaiian jasmine is not native to Hawaii or the Arabian peninsula. It hails originally from India, Burma and Sri Lanka. The plant is a shrubby climber with stems that can reach 9 or 10 feet.
- In Hawaii, pikake flowers are used in leis. In its native India, Jasminum sambac is sacred to the god Vishnu and used in religious ceremonies. The flowers are floated in water or tea to provide subtle scent and flavor.
- Jasminum sambac has been in cultivation for centuries. One of the most popular cultivars is the single-flowered Maid of Orleans. Double varieties include Grand Duke of Tuscany, sometimes also known as Flore Pleno.