90814This is not just another mandevilla. Well, maybe it is. Mandevilla laxa is special though. It is known as Chilean jasmine because, unlike other mandevillas, it is so delightfully fragrant, particularly on warm summer evenings. Some say the fragrance is similar to that of gardenia, but not as strong. Others say it has a bit of vanilla mixed in. Sporadic bloom continues through most of summer.

The two inch long pure white flowers flare out to be a bit wider than long, and are a bit more relaxed than the neatly tailored flowers of other mandevillas. They bloom sequentially in small groups, with new flowers replacing the old for quite a while. The glossy rich green leaves can get almost twice as long at the flowers. Foliage last better on the coast, but is mostly deciduous elsewhere.

Chilean jasmine grows fast in spring, especially if pruned well after winter, but is surprisingly tame. It can grow past downstairs eaves, but should not reach upstairs eaves. It is satisfied with a light duty trellis. If carefully pruned out and removed each winter, it is one of the few vines that is complaisant enough for lattice. Light frost can kill stems to the ground, but they usually recover in spring.

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12 thoughts on “Chilean Jasmine

  1. Love that! Haven’t seen one here. The big Jasmine shrubs are flowering now and will nearly knock you over with the scent. Arabian Jasmine, I think?! I have a question for you – do you use Japanese Blueberry (Eleaocarpus decipens) there and do you like it?

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    1. I have never heard of it. The related silverberries are grown as ornamental plants here, but are not very productive with their berries. I suppose there are cultivars that are grown for fruit, but I hve never tried them.

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      1. hmmm. . . I would be interested in the cultivars that are grown for fruit. I am not at all impressed with the ‘ornamental’ sorts. I do not even know why they are still grown. They have sort of raspy foliar texture .

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