Jasminum officinale ‘Affine’

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USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7a 5º to 0ºF

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Jasminum officinale ‘Affine’

I’m still astounded that very few gardeners are familiar with this vine. This is the improved form of Poet’s Jasmine. Poet’s Jasmine is a vine that is native from the middle east to China. Its a COLD HARDY, deciduous, vigorous twining vine with powerfully sweet scented  flowers in June and then all summer. The sweet perfume is intense in the evening and morning and is conspicuous many feet away. This vine has been cultivated since antiquity and has been grown and loved in England since the 12th century. Its possible this vine returned to the British Isles via the crusades. But historians are vague. It is certain that it is featured heavily in Shakespeares time and the master himself included it in the details of his plays. Very fast growing, large, twining vine that require substantial support. To 15′ tall but it can spread laterally 30′ when excited. Provide #4 copper wire and eye hooks to give it ascent to any pergola, or fence. Do not grow it on that rickety stapled lattice from big box stores. It will kill it as sure as a boa constricts a gazelle. Fall color is often pink/coral and more effective in cold gardens. It has an initial huge display of pink buds that open to masses of white 3/4″ wide flower in June then they continue on new growth in a lesser show until September. New growth on this cultivar is a conspicuous maroon before settling to a refreshing grass green. Often the August flush of flowers yields the largest individual blossoms and that opulent display is accentuated by regular irrigation. Average soil with regular H20 to establish, then only light occasional water required. I prune mine back a bit after the first flush of flowers in June and that ensures a new round of flowers. Otherwise, it can be pruned in early spring. Perfect companion for climbing roses and it competes admirably with vigorous Clematis montana ‘rubens’.  Moderately deer resistant.  VERY long lived cold hardy classic vine that should be everywhere.  In time the twining trunks become bare but develops a handsome cork-like bark.

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