Jasminum sambac

Jatropha curcas




Nyctanthes sambac L.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Melor (Peninsular).
English Arabian Jasmine.
Indonesia Melati (General), menur (Javanese).
Philippines Manul (Bisaya), sampaguita (Tagalog), kampupot (Tagalog, Pampanga).
Cambodia Molih (Chinese).
Thailand Khao taek (Mae Hong Son), tiamuun. {Chiang Mai), mali son.
Vietnam l[af]i, hoa nh[af]i.
French Jasmin d'arabie.

Geographical Distributions

J. sambac probably originated in India and was brought to Malaysia and Java around the 3rd century; since then widely cultivated throughout the Malesian region for its heavily scented flowers.


This shrub is somewhat an untidy straggling climber or lax when young up to 3 m tall and rooting at the nodes.

 The leaves are 1-foliolate, egg-shaped with a size of 2.5-9 cm x 2-6.5 cm and thin. The base is sub-heart-shaped to obtuse or wedge-shaped. The apex is obtuse or acuminate. The margins are slightly wavy, hairless or finely hairy on the main veins, with several sunken and bearded vein-axils beneath.

 The inflorescence is a 3-flowered determinate inflorescence or a many-flowered compact cluster. Their flowers are single or double (in cultivated varieties), with 7-10 sepal segments, 2.5-7 mm long and finely hairy. The petal tube is 7-15 mm long, with 5-many lobes, oval or oblong, size 8-15 mm long, mostly white and heavily fragrant.

 The fruit is a black berry and surrounded by the sepal.

Ecology / Cultivation

J. sambac is widely planted and occurring from sea-level up to 800 m altitude. Several double-flowered varieties are recognized, none of which produce fruit..

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1.