Carolina Jessamine

Carolina Garden: Carolina Jessamine

Perhaps the most prolific bloomer in our region is also one of the easiest to grow. It's the Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens), the official state flower of South Carolina. While commonly known as "jessamine" this plant is a true jasmine.

Carolina Jessamine is a climber. It grows wild on the edge of wooded areas, often climbing to heights of more than 20 feet. When grown on a trellis or arbor this woody vine is easy to control and maintain.

This yellow jasmine is a repeat bloomer. A warm spell in winter is likely to trigger the first bloom of the year. Come spring the plant turns into a fragrant yellow blanket. It will bloom on and off throughout the spring and summer months and is likely to give one final push of color in late autumn.

When such a productive bloomer is eager to grow with minimal care, I am hard pressed to find a reason not to grow it. This is a top pick for any Carolina garden.

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