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The Independent Online
"With regard to your article (The Independent, 10 August) on jasmines," writes David Singmaster of London SW4, "I think the most characteristic jasmine of the Mediterranean region is the night-blooming jasmine, Cestrum nocturnum. This has tiny, waxy, yellowy-white flowers which open up after dark and produce a wonderful perfume which can be recognised from 20 or 30 feet away. I grew it in Berkeley, California, which is slightly milder than southern England. After about three years, it was a bush about 4ft high, getting into full flower. However, it seems that the plant is not really hardy in England, though it may survive and even thrive on a protected, south-facing patio. Three years ago, we bought two plants from a specialist in exotic plants. We keep them in our kitchen over the winter. They propagate readily from cuttings, so we now have four plants. Last summer they bloomed fairly well, but they didn't shown any sign of doing so this summer. A sprig of flowers in a jar of water will open up and scent a room every night for about a week."

Mr Singmaster does not say where he bought his Cestrum nocturnum, but plants are available from Burncoose and Southdown Nurseries, Gwennap, Redruth, Cornwall TR16 6BJ (01209 861112), The Plantsman Nursery, North Wonson Farm, Throwleigh, Okehampton, Devon EX20 2JA (01647 231618), Reads Nursery, Hales Hall, Loddon, Norfolk NR14 6QW (01508 548395), Bloomsbury, Upper Lodge Farm, Padworth Common, Reading, Berkshire RG7 4JD (01734 700239). All do mail order.