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Carolina Jesamine - Gelsemium sempervirens

Carolina Jesamine - Gelsemium sempervirens

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Gelsemium sempervirens, commonly known as Carolina Jessamine, is a charming and fragrant flowering vine native to the southeastern United States. Belonging to the Loganiaceae family, this evergreen plant is celebrated for its vibrant yellow flowers and its adaptability to a range of growing conditions.

Carolina Jessamine is a woody climbing vine that can reach heights of 10 to 25 feet or more. Its glossy, lance-shaped leaves are arranged oppositely along the stems and provide year-round greenery. The leaves are evergreen, ensuring a lush appearance even during the colder months. The standout feature of Gelsemium sempervirens is its profusion of trumpet-shaped flowers. These blooms, which appear in early to late spring, are a cheerful yellow color that stands out against the foliage. The flowers are typically about 1 to 2 inches long and are borne in clusters. Beyond their visual appeal, Carolina Jessamine flowers emit a delightful, sweet fragrance that can fill the air with their scent.

 

Thrives in full sun to light shade and is adaptable to a range of soil types. It prefers well-draining soil and can tolerate occasional drought once established. This vine is well-suited for a variety of landscaping applications, including trellises, arbors, fences, and as a ground cover.

Maintaining Carolina Jessamine is generally straightforward. Regular watering during the growing season is recommended to encourage healthy growth and flowering. Pruning after the flowering period can help maintain its shape and control its growth.

It's important to note that all parts of Carolina Jessamine are considered toxic if ingested. Exercise caution when planting this vine, especially if you have pets or young children who might be tempted to taste its foliage or flowers.

Light: Full sun to Part Shade

Moisture: Moist to dry

Form: Vine

Size: 25' long

Life Span: Long-lived perennial

Salt Water Flooding Tolerance: Low/None

Salt Spray/Soil Tolerance: Low/None

Soil: Loam, Sand

pH: Acidic

Zones: 8A, 8B, 9A, 9B

 

Flower Color: Yellow

Bloom Season: Late Winter/Early Spring

Fruit Color: Brown

Phenology: Evergreen. Blooms in late winter.

Noted for: Aroma, fragrance, showy flowers, interesting foliage

Recommended Uses: Train on a fence or arbor, allow to climb trees. Can be used as a groundcover but does not bloom well with that use.

Native Habitats: Mesic to xeric hardwood forests and upland mixed forests, secondary woods, bluffs, floodplains, flatwoods, ruderal.

Considerations: Toxic if eaten. Climbs by twining.

 

Wildlife: Attracts hummingbirds. Birds attracted to the fruits include warblers, grosbeaks, cardinals, mockinbirds, titmice, chickadees, and thrashers. Flowers attract bees and butterflies. Bees include Habropoda laboriosa, Bornbus griseocollis, B. impatiens and Xylocopa virgilzica Krornbeini (Deyrup et al. 2002)

Comments: Use in homeopathic medicine.

 

Plant information sourced from FNPS

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