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It is commonly called evergreen jasmine, the botanical name is trachelospermum jasminoides, synonymous with Ryncospermum jasminoides, from which also derives the common name ricosperno, or ricospermo; it is a creeper of Asian origin, coming mainly from China, cultivated for a very long time also in Italy.
It has small, dark, evergreen leathery leaves; the stems are woody or semi-woody, voluble, can reach up to 9-10 meters in length; it is a very vigorous plant, which produces a lot of vegetation, even in a single vegetative year. During spring, generally in May-June, it produces an immense rain of white, tubular, star-shaped flowers, similar to jasmine; in addition to the shape they also share the intense fragrance with jasmine. The first flowering is magnificent and abundant, later the plant continues to produce sporadic buds until the autumn.
This plant is easy to grow, and in many areas it is preferred to jasmine, being much more rustic. In fact it can withstand very intense frosts, maintaining most of its beautiful glossy and dark foliage; for this reason it can be grown in the garden in the open ground, or even in pots, remaining outdoors throughout the year.
Adult plants generally tend to produce a large root system, which allows the specimens placed in the ground to be satisfied with the rain water; young plants, and those placed in pots, on the other hand, sometimes need watering, always trying to avoid keeping the plant in excessively moist soil. THE Trachelospermum in fact they fear water stagnation and excess water, which can quickly cause rottenness; instead they calmly tolerate drought, especially if grown in the open ground.
Generally the jasmine specimens are pruned at the end of winter, or after the first big spring flowering, in order to contain their exuberance and to prevent the plant from being emptied at the bottom, leaving the stems bare. Always at the end of winter a fertilizer is made based on mature manure, or slow release granular fertilizer to guarantee the plant all the nourishment necessary for the best development.
This is not a delicate plant, so you can easily repeat the jasmine pruning in the spring or summer months, to shorten the branches that tend to over-develop.
Generally the specimens recently planted are secured to a trellis with or a net; later the plant tends to tangle with any support you find available; the branches are very flexible and are hardly ruined or torn by the weather.
Jasmine - Trachelospermum: Other species
In addition to the T. Jasminoides species there are 25-30 other species of trachelospermum, all climbing; some have purple, some yellow flowers; however these species are not cultivated in Europe.
In the nurseries, however, a hybrid with variegated leaves of white and pink is available, which make the creeper much more decorative, even when it is not in bloom, which is required for the realization of hedges or colored and particular corners.