Country Jasmine | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Country Jasmine

In September, a wild shrub blooms briefly. Campesinos gather the flowers and bring them into town to sell. I don't know the proper name of the plant, and I've never seen it cultivated. Mexicans call it Jazmín del Campo—Country Jasmine.

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Jazmín del Campo ranks up there with the most intensely perfumed flowers in the world, even more so than the Plumeria or Lehua blossoms used in Hawaiian leis. Hauntingly sweet, the odor becomes cloying, almost overwhelming in confined spaces. The other day, we brought some to a friend as a hostess gift. During the car ride, we all started seeing spots. At home, we usually place the flowers in one of our outdoor spaces.

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The blooms last only for a couple of days, and the Jazmín season lasts only for a couple of weeks. Like many things that grow in Mexico, they're available only in season, unlike up north where we could buy many delicacies year round.

The seasonality of Jazmín del Campo makes it all the more enjoyable during the brief moment when it comes to San Miguel. It helps mark the time of year. Jazmín in bloom means summer's over. Time to go back to school.
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