No, I'm not swearing at you in Hawaiian, or latin for that matter. haha!
It's the night blooming jasmine and I wish you could all smell what I'm smelling right now in my house. Yes, IN my house. And my three beautiful plants are OUTSIDE near my front gate.
I fell in love with this plant when I was growing up. My Lola (grandma, in tagalog) had one lonely tree in front of her front door in Pearl City. I remember during the day, it was just a bushy tree. But at night, it transformed into the most perfumed plant in all the land. You could smell this little tree as soon as you hit the sidewalk near her townhouse. When the tradewinds blew, the sweet smell of the tiny little flowers got swept in and it was absolutely heavenly. I longed for that scent every night after we moved out of their place and into our new home in Ewa.
One night last year, my kids and I went to Walmart for a few things. I always park near the garden center because it's less crowded. As we walked towards the door, the wind blew, and I stopped dead in my tracks. That SCENT. I yelled at the kids, "STOP! Stop stop stop. I need to find that plant I smell." The kids looked at me like I was having a moment. I was dead serious. "I know that smell and we need to find it now! I want it in the yard. I don't care how much it is."
Boy does my nose KNOW. There were a few tall plants left. The label, "cestrum nocturnum" or the night blooming jasmine. It's no damn wonder it took me years to find it. Lola always called it "the maiden of the night" plant. I picked up four or five pots. Whatever it was we went to Walmart for flew right out the window because I was now on a mission for these plants. Because it was at night, these little pungent tiny blooms were OPEN! I felt like I died and gone to heaven and Lola was right there with me. Seriously, I wanted to cry when I smelled the flowers. It was such a nostalgic feeling to once again smell this plant that I have not smelled in YEARS. I truly believed Lola was the only person on this island that had it.
I went home happy as a clam. Loving the smell coming from the back of my van as it filled the air with its heavenly scent. I took it home and placed them on the table in the backyard right up next to my bedroom window so I could smell it everynight. Turns out, these plants like moderate sun and should be watered daily. Eventually, the blooms all fell off and the scent was gone. That was about 2 months after I got it.
I guess I overloved the plants and they started to look ill. We moved them out to get more sun, still, they didn't look too well. Finally, Shelby replanted them in the ground near the front of the house. I wanted them in the back so I could smell them in my bedroom. But they grew best near the front of the house where they got partial sun. Besides, it covers up the dog shit smell REAL well. With 2 Rottweilers, shit piles up fast around here.
Since they've been replanted, they are flourishing. So much so, I think she should have spaced them out more. My plants are now so full of blooms, they are dragging on the ground and I'll need to put some sticks in the ground and tie some branches up.
If only you could smell what I'm smelling right now....it's amazing. The best part is, I feel Lola around when the blooms open. All I need now is a little gazebo and a hammock so I can sleep out there with the flowers.