Gelsemium sempervirens, Carolina Jessamine

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

The fragrant yellow bells of Carolina Jessamine are a sure sign of spring. A profusion of flowers appear for several months, and the glossy, oval leaves remain attractive all year. This native is at home from Guatemala north to the southeastern United States.* It is South Carolina’s state flower.

Print Version: Gelsemium sempervirens, Carolina JessamineMGNVorg Gelsemium sempervirens

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets

Tags: Clematis terniflora – Sweet Autumn Clematis, Lonicera japonica – Japanese Honeysuckle, Lygodium japonicum – Japanese Climbing Fern, Jasminum dichotomum – Jasmine, Jasminum fluminense – Jasmine, In the Mid-Atlantic Region, it is found only in VA where it is common in the southern and central Coastal Plain and rare in the adjacent outer Piedmont. It is not native to NoVA, Hardiness: USDA Zones 7-10, Use as a climber on arbors, fences, walls, and near entries or patios; use as a rambler in containers or as ground cover for slopes and banks, Best flower production in sun; prune after flowering, Water Requirements: Moist, Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade, Soil Requirements: Humus-rich, well-drained, Attracts bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, and hummers to its flowers; provides cover for birds, All parts are highly toxic if eaten; sap may cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals, Bloom can start as early as December, with later brief rebloom in early fall, Tolerates clay soil, some drought, and wind; no serious pests or diseases; deer seldom severely damage, Bronzy to purple patina on leaves in winter, Thin, flattened fruit capsules, Fragrant, long-lasting, trumpet-shaped yellow flowers in early spring, Pointed glossy leaves on wiry bronze stems, Climbing, twining, evergreen vine