Thursday, 22 November 2012

Winter-flowering Jasmine

Walking up Doll's Hill earlier today I was heartened by the sight of a Winter Jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum, flowering abundantly. Though its flowers are clearly designed for insect pollination I have never seen it receive a visit from a bee, hoverfly or whatever.
It comes, of course, from China and in its native land it may get numerous visitors. (For some reason I am reminded of the lady actor of advancing years who said, "I may be on the shelf dear, but I'm taken down  regularly and given a good dusting.")

Jasmine is a member of the Olive Family, Oleaceae. It is thus related to Forsythia, Lilac and Privet, and under a hand lens the structure of the flowers clearly shows their relationship. However, it is also in the same family as Ash trees and there the resemblance is far less obvious. 

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