Tree of the week: Murraya exotica – Orange jasmine – Lemoen jasmyn

Murraya exotica is an evergreen medium-sized shrub with shiny green leaves and a compact growth habit. It reaches a mature height of 2.5m and crown spread of about 1.5m. This shrub originates from India, its bell-shaped flowers resemble those of the Jasmine plant hence the common name ‘Orange jasmine’.

This attractive shrub is relatively slow growing. It produces clusters of white scented flowers [each cluster contains up to eight flowers] throughout Summer. The flowers which are borne at the tips of branches have a strong, yet pleasant citrus fragrance that will saturate your garden. After flowering, plum-sized red berries appear on the tree, berries resembling kumquats.

Once established, the Orange jasmine is fairly frost resistant and needs moderate watering to thrive. The plant adapts well to trimming and training, either in a hedge shape or a small tree form. The Orange jasmine also makes a lovely container plant and grows happily in a sunny position on the patio, it tolerates semi-shade conditions as well. The foliage is excellent for flower arranging.