The Orange Jasmine – Murraya paniculata is a large multi-trunked shrub or small tree.
It is also known as the China Box, Mock Orange, Orange jessamine and belongs to the Rutaceae or Rue family.
The fragrant orange blossom, bell-shaped flowers stand out against the evergreen dark green leaves which are made of three to nine leaflets.
This evergreen shrub flowers at intervals throughout the year, and produces jasmine-scented fragrant flowers and striking bright orange to red fruit.
It makes an outstanding boxwood-like hedge or decorative container plant due to its compact habit and dense glossy green foliage. It is generally propagated from the seed.
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Orange Jasmine has several medicinal qualities. The Indians have traditionally used its bark for making cosmetics and the leaves as a stimulant and decongestant.
The astringent qualities of orange jasmine plants have also used to treat bleeding wounds and dysentery, joint pain and body ache. In many parts of Asia, the twigs are chewed and used as a natural toothbrush.
Orange jasmine tea has a sweet, citrus flavor that is recommended to combat stress and depression. Its essential oil also has aromatherapy effects making it a good massage oil.
The ornament tree is found from India and China through South East Asia to Malaysia and Northern Australia.
It has an alluring fragrance due to which it is cultivated throughout the tropics and sub-tropics.
It is called China-box because it can take shearing and is often used in hedges.
It is a hardy shrub and needs light to moderate watering. Feeding is recommended every 20 to 30 days from early spring to mid-autumn, with a break of one month in mid-summer.
New growth needs to be pruned to a few leaves, after the shoots have 6 or 7 leaves while propagation can be done by seeds or cuttings.
It needs a container that is glazed and not too shallow, a moderately fertile, well-drained soil that is free of nematodes. It needs protection from scales, sooty black mold, white flies and nematodes. Otherwise, it is quite a hardy shrub and does not need much care.