‘Madurai Malli’, the popular jasmine flower known for its heady fragrance and international reputation bringing special fame to the temple city of Madurai, has been given the Geographical Indication mark.

“Madurai Malli has been granted the GI tag by the GI registry,” Chinnaraja G. Naidu, Assistant Registrar of Trade Mark and GI, said.

The certificate granting the GI protection to the jasmine flower would be given at a function to be held at Madurai sometime in April, he said.

The traditional jasmine flower is cultivated in the districts of Madurai, Virudhunagar, Theni, Dindigul and Sivaganga.

Special characteristics of the Madurai Malli are deep fragrance, thick petals, lengthiest petiole and delayed opening of buds, ensuring longer shelf-life of the flower.

The registration gives a legal protection for the growers who need not go for further individual registration, he said, adding, that those involved in the cultivation were only entitled to use the word “Madurai Malli’’.

Naidu said unauthorised use of the registration would lead to two years imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs one lakh.

The GI registration has been granted following applications made by Madurai Malli Farmers’ Association and DHAN Foundation following which the Chennai office of the Geographical Indication Registry had sought objections from the public.

The growers have welcomed the decision.