The word jasmine is derived from the Arabic word "yasmin," which means fragrant flower. Jasmine often has white or yellow star-shaped flowers that grow on vines or as shrubbery. Without a doubt, this tropical and subtropical flower is native to Asia. Many botanists believe Persia, now Iran, is where jasmine originated. It crossed the Red Sea into Egypt as early as 1000 B.C., then found its way to Turkey and Greece.