One of the most exceptional parts of tropical landscapes is the extensive variety of plant material — hot colours, bold foliage, unusual flowers and the odd rarity that knocks your socks off with fragrance. Dwarf Tree Jasmine, or Radermachera kunming, is one of those rarities.
Grown as a shrub or small tree, Dwarf Tree Jasmine delivers the true tropical vibe with its glossy, deep-green leaves and dazzling cluster of flowers.
The flower buds emerge as a pale purple/lavender, and open wide to a delicate light pink to white with an astonishing orange throat. As if the flowers weren’t exquisite enough to look at, they will undoubtedly draw you in closer with their alluring scent, which could be compared to berries or candy, with a hint of rose.
Native to Thailand and Southeast Asia, Radermachera makes up a genus of 17 species, and was named after Dutch botanist Jacobus Cornelius Matthaeus Radermacher, an amateur plant collector in Java.
Dwarf Tree Jasmine is a slow grower and will perform well in the Cayman Islands climate in the ground or in a pot. It prefers full sun, but will tolerate some filtered light. Blooming year round, it will be more floriferous and present a stronger fragrance when placed in full sun.
Water and fertiliser requirements for this splendid shrub are moderate when grown in a well-draining soil. Dwarf Tree Jasmine does not like wet feet or oversaturated soils and is not tolerant of salt. For this reason, careful selection of fertiliser is important so as not to burn the roots. A slow release granular fertiliser is the best option.
Although susceptible to caterpillar attacks, Dwarf Tree Jasmine is a favourite for butterfly food, so be careful how much control is placed on these little munchers. Many pesticides that harm pests harm the good guys, too.
Conscientiously placed in a protected area from salts, Dwarf Tree Jasmine can be found in between the large pots in the main entrance beds to 89 Nexus Way in Camana Bay, home to the Dart Enterprises offices.