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Mogra/Arabian Jasmine

With its incredibly sweet and pleasant aroma, it is no wonder that Mogra has been named ‘Hriday Gandha’ in Ayurveda - meaning, ‘one with a scent that delights the heart.’ Going by the scientific alias of Jasminum sambac, Mogra is native to the Indian sub-continent and Southeast Asia. 

Mogra is a horticulturist’s joy. An outdoor shrub, it is a sun-lover that thrives in full sunlight, but it can also tolerate partial shade. Flowering will be suppressed if the plant is water-logged, hence ensure that the pot has appropriate drainage holes and the potting mix is adequately well-draining. Also, mogra needs rich organic nutrition. A mix of well-dried cow dung manure and banana peel fertilizer do well to ensure healthy growth and rich flowering.

Mogra is a staple in Indian cultural functions, where women wear its string as a hair adornment or it is used for large-scale decoration of the area. During rituals and worship, is offered to many Hindu deities. 

As is true of truly popular ornamental plants, Mogra, too, has been experimented upon to yield horticultural varieties or cultivars. Some of these are - Belle of India, Maid of Orleans, Arabian Nights, Grand Duke of Tuscany (also known as Butt Mogra or Rose Jasmine) and Mysore Mallige - which all differ on the basis of aroma strength, petal shape and single or double layers of petals.    

Not many know that apart from its aesthetic role, Mogra is also used as a medicine in Ayurveda for skin hydration and care. Mogra is also used as an ingredient of jasmine tea - it provides fragrance to the base of green, black or white tea.

Mogra is a staple raw material for the perfume industry, cultivated extensively for industrial usage. Fun Fact - the buds of the flower yield stronger and more lasting fragrance than the open flowers, and hence, it is the buds that are harvested! 

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