Florida's hot, humid climate hosts a variety of jasmine plants, most noticeable by the sweet, intoxicating fragrance of their flowers. Jasmine plants grow in a climbing vine habit, but also take the form of bushes and trees. However, while many plants stake a claim to the jasmine nomenclature, the status of true jasmine belongs only to those in the genus jasminum.
Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Florida has a predominately tropical climate. Abundant rainfall and temperatures reaching above 90 degrees Fahrenheit for half of the year contribute to the hot, humid growing conditions, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. Three climate zones divide the state into North, Central and Southern regions. North Florida maintains the coolest temperatures, while Central has hot, humid temperatures and South Florida has a moderate climate due to the sea breezes. Near coastal areas, especially, a high salt content affects plants' ability to grow.
Jasmine plants thrive in warm areas of full to partial sun and grow best in fertile, moist soil. To encourage the production of blooms and control growth, jasmine require frequent pinching and shaping, according to Clemson University. Jasmine needs adequate growth space, especially if planted as a hedge.
Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac) grows as a shrub. and its intensely fragrant flowers are often used to flavor tea and make perfumes, writes the University of Oklahoma Department of Botany and Microbiology. Wide, oval leaves sprout from branches that reach up to 8 feet long.
Marked by an evergreen, woody vine with oblong triple leaflets, the non-native Brazilian jasmine (Jasmine fluminense) produces broad, white star-shaped flowers that open in the night. In addition, it maintains a vigorous growth habit that has made it infamous for overtaking native vegetation, according to the University of Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.
Gold Coast Jasmine
Like the Brazilian jasmine, gold coast jasmine (Jasminum dichotomum) inhabits the Florida landscape as a non-native, invasive species. This woody shrub or vine bears the white, star shaped flowers that appear pink when in bud, and glossy oval leaves with pointed tips.
This jasmine vine (Jasminum nitidum) reaches 20 feet in height if left unattended and sprouts the characteristic white pinwheel blooms that unfurl at night, releasing a strong fragrance into the air. The flowers bloom from late spring through the summer.