Sampaguita, the National Flower of the Philippines, is local name for a species of jasmine native to south Asia (Jasminum sambac).
It originates from India, possibly imported into the Philippines in the 17th century from Himalayan areas.
In the Philippines, the flowers are gathered and strung into leis, corsages and crowns and can be commonly found for sale in the streets and shops. It is a symbol of purity, simplicity, humility and strength.
It was adopted as the national flower on 1 Feb 1934 by the Governor-General (Frank Murphy of the United States) who named it the national symbol because of its "popularity, ornamental value, fragrance, and the role it plays in the legends and traditions of the Filipino people.”
Sampaguita, a Spanish term, comes from the Pilipino words "sumpa kita," which means "I promise you." It is a pledge of mutual love. In early days, a young couple exchanged sampaguita necklaces much like a bride and groom exchange wedding rings nowadays. To this day, garlands of sampaguita are offered to welcome guests.
The garlands are also used as an offering or adornment in religious altars but also can be seen used as natural car fresheners hanging inside cars. The flowers have a number of reported medicinal uses including treatment for: fever or cough, ulcers, abdominal distention, and diarrhea, Reddening and swelling pain in the eye, as a lactifuge, flowers (or leaves) are applied to the breasts, headache, asthma and skin eruptions.
Sampaguita flowers do not bear seeds, therefore the plant is cultivated by cuttings.
Sampaguita, National Flower #530, 8 Dec 1948
29th Orient and South East Asian Lions Forum #2037, 18 Oct 1990
Greeting Stamps - "I Love You" #2139, 10 Feb 1992
National Symbol Definitives, 1993 to 1998
The single petalled variety (Maid of Orleans) is depicted in the definitive stamps
#2212, 29 Apr 1993; #2231e, 12 Jun 1993; and #2217j, 28 Oct 1993
#2211, 3 May 1994; and #2211A, 6 Feb 1995
#2215j, 2 Nov 1995; and #2463A, 15 Apr 1997
#2219j, 8 Jan 1996; and #2220j, 19 Feb 1996
#2212A, 12 Feb 1996; and #2463, 27 Feb 1997
overprint for Philippine Independance Centenary #2545j, 12 Jun 1998
1994 Miss Universe Pageant in Manila #2302a, 2303a and 2304, 5 May 1994
#2302a and #2303a are parts pf se-tenant pairs
Philippine Flowers Celebrating Florikultura '98 and May Flower Festival #2533d, 29 May 1998
part of a se-tenant block of four
50 years of Diplomatic Relations between Philippines and Korea #2623 and 2624, 9 Aug 1999
50 years of Diplomatic Relations between Philippines and Nigeria #3511a, 20 Dec 2013