About 200 species of deciduous or evergreen upright, climbing or twining shrubs, branches angular or cylindrical, sometimes with green bark.  Leaves opposite or alternate, odd pinnate or reduced to only 1 leaflet.  Flowers yellow, white or red, fragrant, in terminal or axillary clusters at branch tips, corolla with a narrow tube, 4-9 lobes, 2 stamens.  Fruit a dark berry.  Found in the tropics and subtropics, one species in the U.S.
Jasminum: a Latinized form of yasmin, the Persian name of the plant.