Sampaguita (Jasminum sambac) is a sweetly scented tropical flower. Belonging to the wide genus of Jasmines (Jasminum), Sampaguita is the common name of the species Jasminum sambac. Sampaguita is also known as Philippine Jasmine, Arabian jasmine, Pikake in Hawaii, Grand Duke of Tuscany, Kampupot, and Melati .
The species Jasminum sambac is native to southern Asia, in India, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Sampaguita is serving as the National Flower of for two countries - Philippines and Indonesia.. The beautiful ornamental Sampaguita blooms cover the glossy green leafed bushed type ever bloomer. The Sampaguita is also well known in Asia for its use in teas and religious offerings, symbolizing divine hope.
Sampaguita grow on a woody vine or semi-climbing shrub, which reaches a height of 1,2 meters. The leaves are ovate or rounded in shape and 6 to 12 cm long. The leaves and Sampaguita flowers grow on short stalks. The Sampaguita flowers bloom either singly or as bundles of blossoms at the top of the branches. Blooming all through the year, Sampaguita are pure white, small, dainty, star-shaped blossoms. The flowers open at night and wilt in less than a day. The Sampaguita flower has about 8-10 calyx teeth that are very slender, and 5 to 8 mm long. The Sampaguita's corolla tube is slender and 1 to 1.5 cm long, the limb is usually double and 1.5 to 2 cm in diameter. The 2 stamens on the Sampaguita are included with a 2-celled ovary.
Sampaguita's distinct sweet, heady fragrance is its unique feature. The essential oil from the flowers is similar to jasmin (Jasminum grandiflores). Sampaguita flowers do not bear seeds, therefore the plant is cultivated by cuttings. Sampaguita was imported into the Philippines in the 17th century from Himalayan areas. The Sampaguita is a native part of the Philippine landscape for centuries. The plant is originally from India and is grown throughout India today. About eight cultivars are generally listed for Sampaguita.Some varieties of Sampaguitas can grow as large as small roses in India.
There are three varieties of Sampaguita, commonly referred to as Single Petal, Double and Double-Double. The double layered Sampaguita are called 'kampupot,' which are less fragrant. The three major varieties: 'Maid of Orleans', 'Belle of India' and 'Grand Duke' - differ from each other by the shape of leaves and flowers structure. The fourth popular variety Mysore Mulli, a variation of the 'Belle of India'.
- Maid of Orleans: Single with five rounded petals
- Belle of India:Semi-double or single (single and double flowers on the same plant) with elongated petals
- Grand Duke of Tuscany: clusters of flowers (sometimes single flower). Only the central flower is truly double-rossete. Side flowers are semi-double, and like miniature roses
- Sampaguita is considered a symbol of fidelity, purity, devotion, strength and dedication.
- In the Philippines, the Sampaguita is called by various names: sambac, sampagung, campopot, lumabi, kulatai, pongso, malur and manul.
- The name Sampaguita is a Spanish term that comes from the Philippino words "sumpa kita," which mean 'I promise you.'
- The Chinese emperor of the Sung dynasty had Sampaguita growing in his palace grounds to enjoy its heavenly fragrance.
- Even the kings of Afghanistan, Nepal and Persia had Jasmine planted, in the 1400s.
- Since ancient times, Jasmine has been cultivated for its essential oils.
- Varieties of Jasmine, like J. grandiflorum, are especially used in perfumes.
- Though, Sampaguita (unlike other Jasmine varieties) is not a key ingredient in top-price perfumes, its scent and makeup have given it important uses.
- Sampaguita has been used for hair ornamentation in India, China and Philippines as well.
- Malaysians scent the hair oil from coconut with Sampaguita scents.
- Sampaguita is also used medicinally. Its perfume is believed to relieve a many ailments including headaches and promotes a feeling of well being.
- Sampaguita roots were used to treat wounds and snake bites. The leaves and the flowers have antipyretic and decongestant properties
- Sampaguita flower extract acts as a deodorant.
- Sampaguita plant cuttings are easy to root. More plants means more blooms at one given time and the more fragrance!
- Plant them in 3 gal pots. The plants are both full sun or shade tolerant.
- Use a good potting soil (with lots of organic matter like peat moss and humus).
- If the plant is exposed to certain conditions for a long time it gets used to them, and may get stressed after the conditions change significantly. However, gradual change should be fine.
- The smaller the plant, the easier it gets adjusted to new conditions.
- The potting mix must be well-drained. Never use top soil or garden soil for potting to avoid rotting in roots.
- All Sampaguita plants need lots of light for blooming. Bright light along with regular fertilization will encourage blooming.
- Move the plant into a larger pot every spring or when the plant overgrows the pot.
- Fertilize the plants monthly with a balanced fertilizer from spring through fall.
- The stems should be tied to supports and keep the soil evenly moist through the growing season.
- Pruning of sampaguita should be taken up after flowering to keep the plants thinned and shaped.
- Protect from frost in temperate regions.
- As a tropical plant, the Sampaguita loves heat, it grows best when the soil around it stays moist but not soggy.
- Do not over-fertilize or over water.
- Bigger flowers need plenty of sun.