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NPIN: Native Plant Database

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Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Gelsemium sempervirens

Gelsemium sempervirens (L.) W.T. Aiton

Carolina jessamine, Yellow jessamine, Evening trumpetflower, Poor man's rope

Loganiaceae (Pinkroot Family)

Synonym(s): Bignonia sempervirens, Bigonia sempervirens

USDA Symbol: gese

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Native from Virginia and Florida west to Arkansas and east Texas and south to Guatemala, Carolina jessamine is a twining, evergreen vine, 10-20 ft. long, that will climb trees, scramble over fences and structures, or develop a mound of tangled stems if left to its own devices. Lustrous, dark-green foliage develops a slight yellow or purple cast in winter. Axillary clusters of very fragrant, yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers. The fruit is a 1 1/2 in. long capsule.

This high-climbing vine is very common in parts of the South, frequently found in abandoned fields and climbing high into the canopies of pine forests. It is quite adaptable and tenacious, with no serious disease or insect problems. These qualities, along with its glossy, evergreen leaves and waxy, trumpet-shaped flowers, have made it a mainstay of the suburban landscape in the Southeast. The flowers, leaves, and roots are poisonous and may be lethal to livestock. Rankins Yellow Jessamine, also known as Swamp Jessamine (G. rankinii), with odorless flowers, occurs in swamps from North Carolina to Florida.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Vine
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Margin: Entire
Leaf Apex: Acute
Leaf Texture: Waxy
Size Notes: 10-20
Leaf: Green
Flower: Flowers 1 to 1.5 inches long
Fruit: Brown
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Dec
Bloom Notes: Usually blooms briefly in early spring, but can start as early as December and then bloom again briefly in early fall.

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , SC , TN , TX , VA
Native Distribution: S.e.VA to FL, w. to AR & TX, south to Guatemala, Zones 7 to 8
Native Habitat: Dry to wet thickets, woods, fence rows or hammocks

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8) , Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained, humus-rich soil. pH adaptable. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay.
Conditions Comments: The best flowering occurs in full sun.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: An aromatic, showy evergreen vine with ornamental blooms and glossy leaves. Can trail along the ground to form a carpet, climb to create a screen, cover walls, columns, and arbors, and twine on fences & other plants.
Use Wildlife: Flowers attract hummingbirds and Spicebush Swallowtail Butterflies.
Warning: The flowers, leaves, and roots are poisonous and may be lethal to livestock.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies , Hummingbirds
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Propagation

Propagation Material: Hardwood Cuttings , Seeds , Semi-hardwood Cuttings
Seed Collection: Seeds mature in October and November. Collect the ripe, brownish capsules if the seeds within are brown. Allow the capsules to air-dry a few days, then break open to remove the seeds. Store in a sealed, refrigerated container.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Conventional care for the residential landscape: Prune in early spring to maintain shape. Prevent complete soil dryness. Maintain mulch layer. Fertilize 2 to 3 times during the growing season with rose food. Train with elastic stretch ties.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

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National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FAC FAC FACU
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Wrights Nursery - Briggs, TX

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Georgia Native Plant Society - Atlanta, GA
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX

Bibliography

Bibref 766 - Dale Groom's Texas Gardening Guide (2002) Groom, D.
Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Gelsemium sempervirens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Gelsemium sempervirens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Gelsemium sempervirens

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-09-08
Research By: TWC Staff, GDG

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