Alternative common names:
Orange Jessamine, Chinese box, Mock orange, Mock lime, Satinwood.
Orange Jessamine is a small, tropical, evergreen tree or shrub growing up to 7 m tall. The plant flowers throughout the year. Its leaves are glabrous and glossy, occurring in 3-7 oddly pinnate leaflets which are elliptic to cuneate-obovate to rhombic.
Where does this species come from?Southeast Asia, China and Australasia.
What is its invasive status in South Africa?NEMBA category 1b
Where in South Africa is it a problem?KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
How does it spread?These seeds are most commonly spread by birds and other animals that eat the brightly-coloured fruit. They may also be dispersed in dumped garden waste
Why is it a problem?
The preferred host to the insect pest Diaphorina citri, the citrus psyllid. This psyllid is the vector for the citrus greening disease.
What does it look like?
Leaves: The leaves are alternately arranged along the stems and borne on stalks. These leaves are once-compound with 3-9 leaflets. The glossy leaflets are narrowly oval to somewhat egg-shaped in outline. They have entire margins, wedge-shaped bases, and pointed tips
Flowers: The fragrant flowers are borne in clusters, containing up to eight flowers, at the tips of the branches or in the upper leaf forks.
Fruit/seeds: The fruit is an egg-shaped to oval berry about 10 mm long. They turn from green to orange or bright red in colour as they mature and contain one or two dull, yellowish-grey or greenish, teardrop-shaped seeds.
Does the plant have any uses?
It is widely cultivated as a garden and hedging plant