At Red’s Landscaping & Design, we put a lot of thought into exactly which plants best suit your local environment and your specific outdoor area. There’s never a one-size fits all solution.
While one tree or shrub may be good here, perhaps it just does not suit there. But one of our favourite go-to plants is the Murraya Paniculata. One of the most gorgeous, luscious and sweet-smelling plants you’ll ever find.
Better yet, it seems to be handmade to thrive in the salty Gold Coast air! Almost every one of our designs recently puts the Murraya to good use, which is handy because it actually comes in a large number of varieties! From the full-grown to the hedge, or even the dwarf type.
The Murraya paniculata, more commonly known as the orange jasmine, orange jessamine, honey bush, mock orange, or satinwood is an absolutely stunning evergreen plant from the citrus family.
This sub-tropical plant is very popular in the landscaping world and is often grown in commercial and domestic gardens all over Australia, Asia, and the Pacific Islands.
Fragrant white flowers with curled up petals bloom on the orange jasmine plant during the springtime, and small red berries are formed in the summer months.
Thanks to its eye-catching white flowers and delicious berries, the Murraya paniculata constantly attracts beautiful birds, bees, and butterflies, and fills the air with delicious smells all summer long.
However, there is much more to this gorgeous plant than you think! Read below to find out ten things you need to know about the Murraya paniculata plant.
The Fragrant Sweet Smelling Orange Jasmine
Many who choose to add the orange jasmine to their garden do so because they are looking to add some sweet aromas to their backyards and around their homes.
Adding the yummy scents of orange blossoms from the orange jessamine to a garden will definitely upgrade the landscape design and will make house guests and family members enjoy being seated outdoors all throughout the day.
The orange jasmine, or Murraya paniculata as it is often called by landscapers, is an extremely fragrant flower that fills the air with its beautiful and memorable scent all summer long. It is said that the flower is most fragrant during summer evenings.
Perhaps the reason this flower is so beloved by homeowners is due to the old memories of summer fun that are brought back when they get a whiff of the orange jasmine flowers.
It is All Edible!
Along with its gorgeous smell and beautiful appearance, this amazing plant is also completely edible.
That’s right! Every single part of the plant, except the branches, is completely safe to consume by humans.
Being part of the citrus family, this plant grows citrus berries that look a lot like kumquats and are safe to eat and are even often added to salads or eaten on their own by owners of these trees.
On top of that, even the leaves of the plant are quite appetizing and are used to make delicious tea all over the world.
If you are ever hanging out around the orange jessamine tree while it’s flowering, grab some of the stamens from inside of the flower and have a taste!
It is absolutely delicious, and it is kind of fun to eat a flower right off of the branch.
Attracts Visitors to Your Garden
The Murraya paniculata is not only edible for humans, but it is also considered a delicacy among birds, bees, and butterflies!
The sweet stamen previously mentioned is often the food of choice of birds, bees, as well as butterflies in the area.
This is due to the very high sugar content in the flower’s stamen that gives it a very sweet taste, and nutritious compound.
Interestingly enough, honey farms that grow their bees near honey bush trees end up selling honey that has a hint of a sharp orange taste!
The delicious berries, on the other hand, often attract small frugivore birds to your garden to devour them.
While bees may not always be welcomed guests in your garden, seeing beautiful birds and butterflies fly around your home may all be worth it.
Good for Landscape Design
Thanks to its prominent white flowers that stand out against the deep green leaves, fragrant smell, and its attraction of lovely animals, the Murraya paniculata is widely used in landscape design in both residential and commercial settings.
This rather tropical looking flower may look delicate and soft, but it is actually an extremely hardy evergreen and a very durable plant which makes it great for creating all kinds of landscape designs that last all year long.
Along with its hardiness, the beauty and relaxed atmosphere it brings to any area makes it the perfect addition to any garden. On top of adding the generic orange jasmine tree to gardens, landscapers often also add the very cute dwarf varieties of this plant as well.
The Murraya Min-a-Min is one of these orange jessamine plant varieties that is often used to decorate the front of houses or commercial buildings by being placed in small pots.
On top of that, the dwarf orange jessamine trees are often kept indoors and shaped and treated as bonsai trees by enthusiasts.
The growth pattern of the Murraya paniculata branches makes it look very enchanting when they are revealed.
Perfect for Hedging
The Murraya paniculata plant is very widely used to create hedges or screens in Australia and the neighbouring countries.
Conveniently named the honey bush, this beautiful plant grows thick like a large shrub with glossy green leaves and gorgeous flowers.
The plant grows very fast, very dense, and very tall, which means your hedge will be full and impermeable to the wondering eye in no time!
You will rarely find missing chunks in between the orange jessamine leaves, which will leave all your hedges looking absolutely perfect all year round.
The smaller varieties of the orange jessamine are also used to create low hedges to add style to the landscape design.
On top of that, the growth pattern of this particular plant makes it very easy to maintain, so you won’t have to worry about reshaping your hedges very often throughout the year.
Shaping and Topiary
While the orange jasmine plant does grow incredibly fast for a plant of its kinds, it is actually best left without over pruning and shaping.
It is recommended that you prune your orange jasmines only once or twice a year to get rid of any dead or broken branches.
Like previously stated, this plant is very easy to shape due to its size and dense growth pattern, your landscaper will be able to create a hedge shape, tree shape, or shape the bushes into the artistic designs of your liking.
The tree shape is often adopted by those looking to add a mystical theme to their garden. The branches on the orange jessamine bush twist and turn as they grow upwards and look rather wicked when they are revealed through the shaping process.
Also, these sturdy branches holding the glossy evergreen foliage of the plant make it easy for the orange jasmine to hold all types of shapes.
You will often find the orange jessamine plant shaped in many different shapes in the same garden including spherical, rectangular, spiral, triangular, and even shaped like your favourite animal or cartoon character.
Thanks to this versatility in shaping and topiary, the orange jessamine is used in both commercial and residential landscaping to add beauty and artistic finesse to the area.
Perfect for Gold Coast Conditions
Unfortunately, not many plants can survive very long in outdoor gardens given the rough weather on the Gold Coast of Australia.
However, this does not ring true for the Murraya paniculata which is actually the perfect plant for this local climate and general environment.
In fact, one of the cool things about this resilient plant is its dislike to living in waterlogged soil and preference for well-drained settings most days of the week.
It is actually recommended that the Murraya paniculata is only watered about once every ten to fourteen days for optimum results if planted directly in the ground; making it a very drought efficient plant.
The low need for water makes this sub-tropical plant the perfect tenant in Gold Coast soil due to the lack of rainfall in the area. The orange jessamine is also a big lover of all-day full sunlight which can always be found on the Gold Coast.
On top of that, the orange jasmine is also known to be stellar in wind resistance. Its strong branches and leaves hold up against some very tough long-term breezes which often hit the beaches of the Gold Coast.
Finally, the orange jessamine is perfect for this beachside area due to its moderate to high salt tolerance, which means the high salinity of the Gold Coast soil will not be in the way of this plant’s growth cycle.
If you live on the Gold Coast, or anywhere that has similar environmental and weather conditions, then consider adding the Murraya paniculata to your landscape design very soon.
Related to an Australian Favourite!
One of the most interesting facts about this rather versatile plant is its genetic heritage. In fact, the orange jessamine, or scientifically the Murraya paniculata, is actually closely related to the curry plant.
Oddly enough, the orange jessamine we keep in our gardens belongs to the genus Murraya which belongs to the citrus family and includes the very well-known curry plant.
Of course, we all know the curry plant whose leaves are ground down and used in a ton of different dishes around the world; especially in South East Asia. Edible leaves seem to be a running theme in this genus of plant.
Low Maintenance in Winter
Unlike a lot of plants grown on the Golden Coast, the Murraya paniculata is actually a very easy plant to maintain, especially in the winter month.
This is likely why Murraya hedges are so commonly found in Australia. As previously stated, this gorgeous plant needs minimal water and minimal shaping in comparison to other hedging plants.
On top of that, after the first two years of growth and once the plant is established, you will no longer need to fertilize the soil either.
The low maintenance aspect to the orange jessamine makes it absolutely perfect for hedges and formal gardens where there are too many plants to be constantly paying attention to.
Keep that in mind next time you need a lazy, yet attractive addition to your garden.
Orange Jessamine… for Medicine?
Finally, one of the most interesting facts about this member of the citrus family is its place in ancient and modern medicine!
The Murraya paniculata has been used for centuries by the people of India, China, the Philippines, and pretty much every other country this plant is native to, to treat all kinds of illnesses.
Some of the illnesses the orange jessamine leaves, roots, and branches have been used to treat include coughs, hysteria, rheumatism, dysentery, and general pain relief!
There is a lot more to this wonderful plant than just a beautiful look!
As we’ve seen on our journey learning about the Murraya paniculata, there is a lot more to this plant than meets the eye.
Thanks to its beautiful flowers, glossy strong leaves, and dense growth, this plant has become a favourite among landscape architects, and even homeowners who want to spice up their own gardens.
On top of that, its strong scent, as well as its delicious fruit and flowers make it the perfect attraction for humans, birds, bees, and butterflies alike.
If all that wasn’t enough, this gorgeous and very useful plant is also extremely easy to maintain, manipulate, and keep alive.
Keep all these interesting facts in mind the next time you are looking for a new addition to your garden. The Murraya plant is a versatile, hardy, evergreen and gorgeous plant with a sweet aroma that can offer great shade for your outdoor area.
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