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Jasmine is a genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family (Oleaceae). It contains around 200 species native to tropical and warm temperate regions of Eurasia and Oceania. Jasmines are widely cultivated for the characteristic fragrance of their flowers. A number of unrelated plants contain the word "Jasmine" in their common names (see Other plants called "Jasmine").
Jasmine can be either deciduous (leaves falling in autumn) or evergreen (green all year round), and can be erect, spreading, or climbing shrubs and vines. Their leaves are borne in opposing or alternating arrangement and can be of simple, trifoliate, or pinnate formation. The flowers are typically around 2.5 cm (0.98 in) in diameter. They are white or yellow in color, although in rare instances they can be slightly reddish. The flowers are borne in cymose clusters with a minimum of three flowers, though they can also be solitary on the ends of branchlets. Each flower has about four to nine petals, two locules, and one to four ovules. They have two stamens with very short filaments. The bracts are linear or ovate. The calyx is bell-shaped. They are usually very fragrant. The fruits of jasmines are berries that turn black when ripe. The basic chromosome number of the genus is 13, and most species are diploid (2n=26). However, natural polyploidy exists, particularly in Jasminum sambac (2n=39), Jasminum flexile (2n=52), Jasminum mesnyi (2n=39), and Jasminum angustifolium (2n=52).
A number of jasmine species have become naturalized in Mediterranean Europe. For example, the so-called Spanish jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum) was originally from West Asia and Indian subcontinent, and is now naturalized in the Iberian peninsula.
Jasmine gave name to the jasmonate plant hormones, as methyl jasmonate isolated from the oil of Jasminum grandiflorum led to the discovery of the molecular structure of jasmonates. Jasmonates occur ubiquitously across the plant kingdom, having key roles in responses to environmental cues, such as heat or cold stress, and participate in the signal transduction pathways of many plants.
Jasmine plantation is usually done using the stem of an existing plant, or one having roots. In rare occasions, the flowers bear dark purple fruits with seeds. The seeds germinated when sowed and nurtured properly. The flowering shrubs are usually trimmed pre-summer, as fresh branches grow and bear flowers during the summer.
Jasmine is cultivated commercially for domestic and industrial uses, such as the perfume industry. It is used in rituals like marriages, religious ceremonies and festivals. Jasmine flower vendors sell garlands of jasmine, or in the case of the thicker motiyaa (in Hindi) or mograa (in Marathi) varieties, bunches of jasmine are common. They may be found around entrances to temples, on major thoroughfares, and in major business areas.