Murraya paniculata: Orange jasmine

Family: Rutaceae
Common name: Orange jasmine, Orange jessamine, Mock orange, China box, Satinwood, Chalcas, Kamini

Orange jasmine plants are really good hedge plants since their thickly branched stems give privacy as well as protection. These beautiful, evergreen plants can grow to a height of 5-7 meters, almost as tall as a small tree.

They can be trimmed into desired shapes once the plants reaches 1-2 meters. Orange jasmine plants are native to Asia and Australia, but their sturdy nature has made them garden favourites all over the world, especially in tropical countries.

These plants have woody, pale-brown stems and dark green leaves. The leaves are 3-5 cm long and oval in shape with a smooth outline. What makes the Orange jasmine special and also gives it the name, are the lovely, creamy-white, waxy flowers that has a sweet fragrance of oranges.

These flowers are formed in loose clusters, sometimes having as many as 30 flowers in a bunch. The fragrance of these flowers attract pollinators like bees, butterflies, insects, and small birds into the garden. Once pollinated, they form orange-red berries that are about 1 cm in diameter.

Orange jasmine plants need bright sunlight for flowering, and regular watering. They are quite sturdy, tolerant of drought, weather fluctuations, and poor soil conditions. This makes them ideal as strong, bushy hedges that can be neatly trimmed each season. Trimming makes the plants grow evenly and produce more flowers.

These plants are pest-resistant, growing and flowering well throughout the year, except during winter. They can even be grown in temperate climates though they would have to brought indoors during snowy weather and kept near a sunny window.

Orange jasmine plants are closely related to Curry leaf plants or Murraya koenigii with similar leaves, flowers, and seeds. Though the fruits look like citrus fruits, and the flowers smell like oranges, they are not related to citrus plants.

These plants can be grown in pots for a fairly long time, repotting occasionally to make sure that the plant does not become too heavy for the pot. They take 3-4 years to become fully-grown.

Propagation is through seeds, or stem cuttings which root well in soil.