The winter jasmine is bringing cheer to the Forsythia Bed beside the South Walk.
Winter jasmine has long been valued for its cheery, bright yellow, solitary, salviform blooms. These emerge from the leaf axils before the glossy, trifoliate leaves, along the length of the slender, arching stems. Here it is grown as a ground cover plant, and produces soft mounds to 3 m across, though it can also be grown against a wall, but requires careful training as it is not a climbing species. It is a hardy plant from China, from whence it was introduced by Robert Fortune in 1844. A member of the Oleaceae (olive family), it is a close relative of Forsythia, and is one of 200 species of the tropical and temperate genus Jasminum.