Carolina Jessamine Vine



Botanical Name:  Gelsemium sempervirens

Common Name:  Carolina Jessamine, Yellow Jessamine, Carolina Wild Woodbine, Evening Trumpet Flower

Description:  Beautiful Florida native vine that puts on a spectacular display of masses of fragrant yellow flowers in late winter/early spring with some repeat fall bloom. Evergreen. Is a robust grower with no serious diseases or pests. Carolina jessamine flowers most profusely in the sun or part sun, but will also flower in part shade. It will twine on trellises and over supports on fences,  walls, and trees, and can even be used as a dense groundcover. All parts of the plant are poisonous, so add it to your poison garden. Fast grower to about 20′ tall. Carolina Jessamine is a nectar plant for the Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly; it also attracts native bees, honeybees, and hummingbirds. Birds attracted to the fruits include warblers, grosbeaks, cardinals, mockingbirds, titmice, chickadees, and thrashers. Not usually eaten by deer. Somewhat drought tolerant, but looks its best with supplemental water during times of drought. Does fine in your rain garden.

Its natural habitat is in mesic and hydric hammocks, pine flatwoods, thickets, bottomland swamps and ruderal areas. It likes to grow in these soil types: Moist, well-drained, humus-rich soil; pH adaptable; sandy, sandy loam, medium loam, clay loam, clay.

Carolina jessamine flowers are lemon yellow and tubular with rounded, five-lobed calyces. They may be solitary or clustered. The plant’s dark green, glossy leaves are petiolate and elliptic to lanceolate with pointed tips. They are oppositely arranged. Leaf margins are entire. Seeds are flat with thin wings and are born in two-parted capsules. The wiry reddish stems climb by twining.

Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water. Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray.

This plant in 1-gallon containers is 1-2′ and trellised.

This plant in 3-gallon containers is 2-3′ tall and staked.

Plant Lore:  Although it is sometimes mistakenly referred to as Carolina “jasmine,” true jasmines belong to the genus Jasminum. This species’ flowers produce nectar that is toxic to honeybees if they eat too much of it (just say no!) and honey produced from its nectar may be toxic to humans. This species’ sap can cause contact dermatitis in some people. Large bees, such as the carpenter bees and several bumblebee species, are too large to fit inside the flower, so they “rob” them by chewing holes near the base of the trumpets and sucking the nectar out without pollinating the flowers.

Florida Hardiness Zones 8 – 10

Additional information

Container Size

1-gallon, 3-gallon


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Carolina Jessamine Vine”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *