A single flowering stem of some types of jasmine (Jasminum spp.) can fill a room or a garden with sweet, heady scent. Among the most fragrant are common jasmine (Jasminum officinale), Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac) and royal or Spanish jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum). A similar vine, called star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides), looks similar to fragrant jasmines and is also heavily scented, but it isn't a true jasmine.
A sprawling, twining deciduous shrub, common jasmine grows vigorously to 20 to 30 feet tall and 7 to 15 feet wide, and features white or pale pink fragrant flowers up to 1 inch wide. Common jasmine has such a strong perfume it can fill a room or garden with fragrance. Warm spots that receive at least four hours of direct sun every day and high humidity encourage prolific blooms early summer through fall, which attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Also called poet's jasmine, common jasmine grows 12 to 24 inches per year and benefits from an arbor or trellis for support when growing as a vine, or you can grow it as a hedge with regular pruning.
Common jasmine also offers rich green, slightly downy leaves divided into five to nine leaflets. Growing well in average, medium moisture soil, common jasmine grows outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10.
Arabian jasmine is known for its exceptional fragrance, which is used in Hawaiian leis. This evergreen shrub grows up to 25 feet tall when growing in-ground in USDA zones 9 through 11. In colder zones it grows 4 to 5 feet tall in containers. Arabian jasmine blooms are white, waxy and about 1 inch in diameter, and they appear in summer in cool zones or year-round when the plant is growing within its hardiness zones. Arabian jasmine's flowers contrast with its dark green, oval leaves, which are 3 inches long.
Arabian jasmine grows best in partially shaded or sunny spots and evenly moist, freely draining, loose, organically rich soil.
Also called Catalonian or Spanish jasmine, royal jasmine is an evergreen vine that grows 20 to 40 feet tall. Clusters of highly fragrant, white, tubular flowers 3 inches long and 3/4 inch wide appear summer through fall. Royal jasmine also has deep green leaves divided into seven to nine leaflets. Hardy in USDA zones 9 through 11, royal jasmine grows well in sunny or partially shaded areas of the garden and sandy or clay loam soil with a near-neutral pH. The blooms are edible, and the royal jasmine tolerates deer, humidity and heat.
The creamy white, star-shaped blooms on star jasmine provide a sweet fragrance similar to a true jasmine scent. Star jasmine blooms appear in late spring and sporadically through summer, and the vine also features dark green, glossy, oval leaves 3 1/2 inches long on wiry, dark brown stems. An evergreen, woody perennial that grows 3 to 6 feet tall and wide, star jasmine grows in USDA zones 8 through 10, and grows well as ground cover, a sprawling shrub or a vine. In USDA zones 7 and lower, star jasmine can be treated as an annual. Partially shaded spots and medium wet soil give the best results.