Friday, August 12, 2011

What's so grandiflorum about this florum?

In my garden, there are 3 beautiful creepers planted by my father that trail their beautiful, delicate dark green feathery selves to the ground like girls drying their hair in the sun. Every year, for just 2 to 3 months, to coincide with the monsoons, they stud themselves with the most exquisitely scented star-shaped white flowers that start as blush-pink-dipped buds in the evening and bloom to pure white virginal stars the next morning. They are my mother’s favourite flower and their perfume is like no other, heady but with an intoxication that is delicate and utterly enchanting. I only knew it by the local Kannada name by which it is popular all over Karnataka.
Till I found its botanical name - Jasminum officinale grandiflorum. Which is the very same jasmine that grows in Grasse and finds its way to the most fabulous perfumes in the world! Its English name is Poet’s jasmine.

It is also happens to be the flower that the Goddess Lakshmi prefers to be propiated with on the festival of Varamahalakhmi

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