A small compact, semi- climbing woody shrub. Leaves are firm, undivided, broadly elliptic, dark green. Flowers are in clusters while turning purple as they fade and very fragrant. Jasminum sambac is an evergreen vine or shrub reaching up to 0.5 to 3 m (1.6 to 9.8 ft) tall. The species is highly variable, possibly a result of spontaneous mutation, natural hybridization, and autopolyploidy.
Cultivated Jasminum sambac generally do not bear seeds and the plant is reproduced solely by cuttings, layering, marcotting, and other methods of asexual propagation. The flowers bloom all throughout the year and are produced in clusters of 3 to 12 together at the ends of branches. They are strongly scented, with a white corolla 2 to 3 cm (0.79 to 1.18 in) in diameter with 5 to 9 lobes. The flowers open at night (usually around 6 to 8 in the evening), and close in the morning, a span of 12 to 20 hours. The fruit is a purple to blackberry 1 cm (0.39 in) in diameter.