Chinese: 茉莉花; pinyin: Mòlì huā, Sambac Jasmine
Sambac Jasmine - Grand Duke of Tuscany
Shot on Leica V-Lux5
Jasminum Sambac (Arabian Jasmine or Sambac Jasmine) is a species of jasmine native to tropical Asia, from the Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia. It is cultivated in many places, especially across much of South and Southeast Asia. It is naturalised in many scattered locales: Mauritius, Madagascar, the Maldives, Christmas Island, Chiapas, Central America, southern Florida, the Bahamas, Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Lesser Antilles.
Jasminum sambac is a small shrub or vine growing up to 0.5 to 3 m (1.6 to 9.8 ft) in height. It is widely cultivated for its attractive and sweetly fragrant flowers. The flowers may be used as a fragrant ingredient in perfumes and jasmine tea. It is the national flower of the Philippines, where it is known as sampaguita, as well as being one of the three national flowers of Indonesia, where it is known as melati putih.
Jasminum sambac (Filipino and Philippine Spanish: sampaguita) was adopted by the Philippines as the national flower on 1 February 1934 via Proclamation No. 652 issued by American Governor-General Frank Murphy. It is also known natively as kampupot in Tagalog; kulatai, pongso, or kampupot in Kapampangan; manul in the Visayan languages; lumabi or malul in Maguindanao; and hubar or malur in Tausug.
Filipinos string the flowers into leis, corsages, and sometimes crowns. These garlands are available as loose strings of blossoms or as tight clusters of buds, and are commonly sold by vendors outside churches and near intersections.
Sampaguita garlands are used as a form of bestowing honour, veneration, or accolade. These are primarily used to adorn religious images and photographs of the dead on altars. These are placed around the necks of living persons such as dignitaries, visitors, and occasionally to graduating students. Buds strung into ropes several metres long are often used to decorate formal events such state occasions at Malacañang Palace, weddings, and are sometimes used as the ribbon in ribbon cutting ceremonies. Though edible, the flower is rarely used in cuisine, with an unusual example being flavouring for ice cream.
Jasminum sambac was the subject of the danza song La Flor de Manila, composed by Dolores Paterno in 1879 at the age of 25. The song was popular during the Commonwealth and is now regarded as a romantic classic. The flower is also the namesake of the song Collar de Sampaguita.
The fragrance of Lady Gaga's perfume, Fame, was thought to be inspired by Sampaguita when she bought one from the street children in Manila the time she had her concert in the Philippines.
The design of the ceremonial torch for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, designed by Filipino sculptor Daniel Dela Cruz, was inspired by the sampaguita.
Javanese Surakarta bride adorned with intricate roncen melati (jasmine garland)
Jasminum sambac (Indonesian: melati putih) is one of the three national flowers in Indonesia, the other two being the moon orchid and the giant padma. Although the official adoption were announced only as recent as 1990 during World Environment Day and enforced by law through Presidential Decree No. 4 in 1993, the importance of Jasminum sambac in Indonesian culture long predates its official adoption. Since the formation of Indonesian republic during the reign of Sukarno, melati putih is always unofficially recognized as the national flower of Indonesia. The reverence and its elevated status mostly due to the importance of this flower in Indonesian tradition since ancient times.
It has long been considered a sacred flower in Indonesian tradition, as it symbolizes purity, sacredness, graceful simplicity and sincerity. It also represents the beauty of modesty; a small and simple white flower that can produce such sweet fragrance. It is also the most important flower in wedding ceremonies for ethnic Indonesians, especially in the island of Java. Jasmine flower buds that have not fully opened are usually picked to create strings of jasmine garlands (Javanese: roncen melati). On wedding days, a traditional Javanese or Sundanese bride's hair is adorned with strings of jasmine garlands arranged as a hairnet to cover the konde (hair bun). The intricately intertwined strings of jasmine garlands are left to hang loose from the bride's head. The groom's kris is also adorned with five jasmine garlands called roncen usus-usus (intestine garlands) to refer its intestine-like form and also linked to the legend of Arya Penangsang. In Makassar and Bugis brides, the hair is also adorned with buds of jasmine that resemble pearls. Jasmine is also used as floral offerings for hyangs, spirits and deities especially among Balinese Hindu, and also often present during funerals. In South Sumatran traditional costume, the bungo melati pattern in Palembang songket fabrics depicts the jasmine to represent beauty and femininity.
The jasmine has wide spectrums in Indonesian traditions; it is the flower of life, beauty and festive wedding, yet it is also often associated with spirit and death. In Indonesian patriotic songs and poems, the fallen melati often hailed as the representation of fallen heroes that sacrificed their life and died for the country, the very similar concept with fallen sakura that represent fallen heroes in Japanese tradition. The Ismail Marzuki's patriotic song "Melati di Tapal Batas" (jasmine on the border) (1947) and Guruh Sukarnoputra's "Melati Suci" (sacred jasmine) (1974) clearly refer jasmine as the representation of fallen heroes, the eternally fragrance flower that adorned Ibu Pertiwi (Indonesian national personification). The Iwan Abdurachman's "Melati dari Jayagiri" (jasmine from Jayagiri mountain) refer jasmine as the representation of the pure unspoiled beauty of a girl and also a long lost love.
In Indonesia, jasmine essential oil is also extracted from jasmine flowers and buds by using steam distillation process. Jasmine essential oil is one of most expensive commodity in aromatherapy and perfume industry.
In Cambodia, the flower is used as an offering to the Buddha. During flowering season which begins in June, Cambodians thread the flower buds onto a wooden needle to be presented to the Buddha.
In China, the flower (Chinese: 茉莉花; pinyin: Mòlì huā) is processed and used as the main flavoring ingredient in jasmine tea (茉莉花茶). It is also the subject of a popular folk song Mo Li Hua.
In Hawaii, the flower is known as pīkake, and are used to make fragrant leis. The name 'pīkake' is derived from the Hawaiian word for "Peacock", because the Hawaiian Princess Kaʻiulani was fond of both the flowers and the bird.
The Middle East and South Asia
It is one of the most commonly grown ornamentals in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, where it is native. They are used to make thick garlands used as hair adornments. In Oman, Jasminum sambac features prominently on a child's first birthday. Flowers are sprinkled on the child's head by other children while chanting "hol hol". The fragrant flowers are also sold packed in between large leaves of the Indian almond (Terminalia catappa) and sewn together with strips of date palm leaves. At Indian weddings, the bride often adorns her hair with garlands made of mogra, either around a bun or wrapped across a braid. Bahrain The flower is made into a pin along with the leaf of a palm tree to commemorate the martyrs of the country, similar to the White Poppy flower.
In Sri Lanka it is widely known as pichcha or gaeta pichcha. The name sithapushpa and katarolu are also used in older texts. The flowers are used in Buddhist temples and in ceremonial garlands.