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Yellow Jessamine, Carolina Yellow Jasmine

Gelsemium sempervirens

Family: Gelsemiaceae
Genus: Gelsemium (jel-SEM-ee-um) (Info)
Species: sempervirens (sem-per-VY-renz) (Info)
Synonym:Bignonia sempervirens
Synonym:Gelsemium nitidum
Synonym:Lisianthus sempervirens
View this plant in a garden


Vines and Climbers

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Fairhope, Alabama

Jones, Alabama

Midland City, Alabama

Northport, Alabama

Oxford, Alabama

Saraland, Alabama

Tuskegee, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Altus, Arkansas

Benton, Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Paris, Arkansas

Chowchilla, California

Clayton, California

Fairfield, California

Fallbrook, California

Merced, California

Palm Desert, California

Redondo Beach, California

Rohnert Park, California

San Anselmo, California

San Diego, California (3 reports)

San Francisco, California

Stockton, California

Van Nuys, California

Walnut Creek, California

Altamonte Springs, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Deland, Florida

Eustis, Florida

Hawthorne, Florida

Hudson, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Jupiter, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Lake City, Florida

Lake Worth, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Lynn Haven, Florida

Melbourne, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Oviedo, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Port Orange, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Trenton, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Yulee, Florida

Albany, Georgia

Barnesville, Georgia

Decatur, Georgia

Dry Branch, Georgia

Jeffersonville, Georgia

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Kurtistown, Hawaii

Boise, Idaho

Barbourville, Kentucky

Ledbetter, Kentucky

Madisonville, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana (2 reports)

Bordelonville, Louisiana

Covington, Louisiana

Folsom, Louisiana

Franklinton, Louisiana

Lake Charles, Louisiana

Madisonville, Louisiana

Metairie, Louisiana

Zachary, Louisiana

Belzoni, Mississippi

Clinton, Mississippi

Corinth, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Saucier, Mississippi

Sturgis, Mississippi

Waynesboro, Mississippi

Las Vegas, Nevada

Fair Haven, New Jersey

Vincentown, New Jersey

Alamogordo, New Mexico

Brooklyn, New York

Charlotte, North Carolina (2 reports)

Clayton, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina (2 reports)

Elizabethtown, North Carolina

Hillsborough, North Carolina

Lake Lure, North Carolina

Powells Point, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports)

Vale, North Carolina

Wilsons Mills, North Carolina

Williamsburg, Ohio

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Berwyn, Pennsylvania

Morrisville, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Bluffton, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Greenville, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Sumter, South Carolina

Memphis, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas (2 reports)

Brownwood, Texas

Bulverde, Texas

Burleson, Texas

Carrollton, Texas

Crockett, Texas

Dallas, Texas

De Leon, Texas

Deer Park, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Frisco, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Georgetown, Texas

Houston, Texas (3 reports)

Humble, Texas

Katy, Texas

Lewisville, Texas (2 reports)

Lufkin, Texas

New Caney, Texas

Orange, Texas

Pearland, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

Tomball, Texas

Wharton, Texas

Winnsboro, Texas

Leesburg, Virginia

Locust Dale, Virginia

Urbanna, Virginia

Grand Mound, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 25, 2015, KatWheels from Florence, SC wrote:

I came upon our beautiful state flower in a wooded lot in Florence. The pretty yellow flowers caught my eye!! I took several clippings to hopefully root in some water, but what I read says you must break off a piece from the rootball!!
Has anyone had success with a clipping developing roots ??


On Mar 3, 2014, younggardener96 from Cypress, TX wrote:

I am new at this whole gardening thing but I truly enjoy it and love it. I recently built a pergola in my backyard and planted some Carolina Jessamine to grow up the sides. I live in zone 9a and we're slowly starting to finish up our winter however last night it got really cold! The leaves on my poor Jessamine are a dark green and kind of droopy. Help! How do I take care of this plant and will it survive a few more cold nights???


On Jun 16, 2013, lanorcal from Rohnert Park, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have two of these plants to add greenery to an arbor and they have been in place about 2 years - they are zero maintenance and provide nice year round greenery to the area - but they have not yet shown any sign of blooming. I will try fertilizing this summer in hopes that has some affect.


On Feb 18, 2013, starfarmer from Ann Arbor, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

Vestia, that's toxic to *non-native* bees, including the invasive species we call honeybees; native species are immune or avoid the plant. Pretty funny, no?

And in case your state of mind persists, you'll be glad to know that according to the US Pharmacopeia, Gelsemium can treat irritability and "mental instability", among other ills!


On Jan 3, 2013, Vestia from San Francisco, CA wrote:

This plant while an American native, is not one to plant, owing to its great toxicity. It is not only toxic to people, pets, and wildlife - it is also one of the few plants who's nectar is toxic to bees. The adults bees are not affected, but when they take the nectar to the hive it affects the brood. Skip this plant - remove it if you have it. Bees are in trouble and need our help.


On Aug 26, 2012, idahocactus2 from Boise, ID wrote:

Have had much luck with Carolina Jasmine here in the Boise Valley --- zones 6 - 7. The variety is 'Margarita', and I secured the plants from nurseries in Virginia and Pennsylvania. I have vines at my own house in Boise and at 3 other clients here in the Valley. They are all having good success!! The plants easily take temperatures down to zero [which is rare here], and little or no damage, and have bloomed regularly ever year. The plants are now over 5 years in the ground, and are even more vigorous. They put on their heaviest display this spring. Do they repeat blooming in other climates? There just seems to be that one time here in the Boise, Idaho area.


On Jul 20, 2012, heckabore from Walnut Creek, CA wrote:

I've lived in my house for 12 years and have never gotten more than 3 or 4 blooms on any of the 4 Carolina Jessamines. I don't know how old the plants are as they were already here when I moved in. Two are growing on an arbor along with some climbing roses. The roses are deep red with yellow centers and bloom profusely in the spring. The jessamine add greenery but rarely bloom. They get a mixture of sun and shade. I am about to redo the arbor and plan to remove the jessamine and replace them with yellow clematis. Two more jessamine are planted in the back yard, growing up a trellis--these have never bloomed, but the greenery is nice.


On Apr 17, 2012, BarbaraParis from Comerio, PR (Zone 11) wrote:

It is growing here in zone 11 in the forest ... I was walking and saw lots of yellow flower on the floor and then I looked up and there it was .. Very pretty.


On Feb 11, 2012, tchrkare from Palm Desert, CA (Zone 11) wrote:

I bought this plant for $1 at my local garden center. It was sad-looking, wilted, and was a "maybe, it's only a buck" purchase. It has grown 200% in just a few weeks, fills the whole area with fragrance, and is covered in fabulous flowers. I have it in a shady spot, as the sun here is brutal. I hope it is as invasive as the posts say---I would love to see it take over the whole area! A great little plant for zone 9b.


On Jun 10, 2011, Shellsfarm from Grass Valley, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've had my plant in the ground for 3+ years and I really don't know if it grows well SINCE THE STUPID DEER HAVE CONTINUOUSLY EATEN THE LEAVES OFF IT. Despite that, it lived. I finally dug it out of the ground and have it in a pot on my deck. It is struggling to thrive, only putting out a few tiny leaves. I hope I didn't kill it...


On May 22, 2011, obxwild from Powells Point, NC wrote:

This plant grows great in my area. While not on the beach, i am coastal (10 minutes or less inland). Planted about 6-7 years ago - this is a monster! Get ready to cut back 2-3 times a year, or plant it in an area that will not allow it to strangle other plants, or attach itself to structures, wires, etc. Great for trellis type objects, however the more open the spacing, the better. I used pt wood lattice and 4x4s - my lattice has curled forward about 30%!

Mine is in in mostly sun to part shade. I go willy nilly on this sucker and just chop it back about a 1/3 of it's size 2x a year (planted too close to house....duh!), and it STILL grows like a beast. Flowers almost all year here. I have even had it bloom in the warmer winters. Right now it has overtaken 16' width of lattice... read more


On Apr 1, 2011, roughbeast from Los Angeles, CA wrote:

We just planted what we thought was Carolina Jasmine in a large pot with a trellis, and it's doing fine. We're in Los Angeles, also known as a desert, so we'll have to water it. I have two concerns: the salesperson at the large garden chain that sold me this plant called it Carolina Jasmine, but the tag (which I didn't look at) says it's Swamp Jessamine Gelsemium rankinii - but still I would have thought that Caroline Jasmine must be another name for it (at the time I thought it was a true jasmine). When I looked up the Latin name I found that Carolina Jasmine is species sempervirens, not rankinii. Sempervirens has a strong aroma; rankinii does not - and I suspect that mij13 in San Diego also got rankinii, so that's why there's no fragrance - we also have one we put in the ground several y... read more


On Nov 18, 2010, texasflora_com from De Leon, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is the best plant I know of in this area for planting on a fence, especially a chain link fence. It can turn a drab old fence into a beautiful fence. The evergreen leaves and the nice spicy scent are a bonus. I've never seen this plant naturalize or become invasive anywhere in this area, probably because of lack of enough rainfall. I've never even seen it escape the boundaries it was planted in. However, I'd like to give a negative to all the commercial growers out there who ALWAYS market the plant with a big fat peat stake in the pot. Just who would want to grow it on a stake? And you really have to cut the plant back to almost nothing when transplanting so it will train itself on a fence or trellis anyway. But I guess if they sold it with no stake, it wouldn't look very attractive a... read more


On Apr 6, 2010, eatmyplants from Comanche county, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Wow, someone actually gave their own state flower a negative.


On Apr 6, 2010, laurahteague from Madisonville, KY wrote:

I was surprised to see that this plant was Zone 7. I live in zone 6, and have had yellow jasmine (jessamine) for at least 5 years, and it has covered 3 sides of my gazebo, and is doing well on my arbor. It blooms profusely for about a week in April, and is absolutely gorgeous! The rest of the summer, it provides welcome shade, and in winter, a touch of green. It does not take over here in Kentucky the way it might farther south. I just bought two plants to grow on my fence, and hope they will do as well.


On Mar 17, 2010, hwgang from Northfield, MA wrote:

I just acquired this beautiful plant from a nursery that is also unfamiliar with it. It's only in a 4" pot. It is fully in bloom and sending out new growth. I am in zone 5a so it must be a houseplant here. I don't see any comments regarding this as a houseplant. I would welcome advice.

Sorry, wrong plant. I have Jasminum mesnyi PRIMROSE jasmine, not "yellow".


On Feb 8, 2010, mij13 from San Diego, CA wrote:

I have two plants that have done very well for the past year, here in Southern California. It's now mid Feb., and they're both in full bloom. I'm growing them up against the side of my garage, and hope they will spread out and cover it. The blossoms are very vivid and pretty, but not especially fragrant. I have some pink jasmine nearby and was worried that these would clash in the spring. I had nothing to worry about, it seems. It's a very lovely vine plant and I'd recommend it.


On Nov 18, 2009, missfancy34667 from Hudson, FL wrote:

My Husband planted this plant in 2001 in front of our hot tub deck on the north side of our house. It had taken over the entire front of the the deck providing excellent privacy. However, It also blooms in the most extreme circumstances. Last year it bloomed in 16 degree temerpartures in february. Ive never seen such blooming in such adversity. the plant tends to move towards the east of the deck. < wish it would move towards the west more. LOL. > It is very profilfic. It has become so dense that it has became a place for the cats to lie in from the roof, and in the past the farm rats have been seen inside of it, fortunatelty for us the cats find it a wonderful place to hang out and get themselves a nice meal.

Currently though, I have noticed that where it was planted, was ... read more


On Oct 20, 2009, annaprs from Midway, AR wrote:

I have had 2 Carolina Yellow Jasmine for 2 years and the plant grows beautifully but I have no flowers at all. I tried fertilizing but no luck. I read about the beautiful flowers and the wonderful scent.
What am I doing wrong???


On Apr 4, 2009, DreamOfSpring from Charleston, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is our state flower. It is a native and is very much at home here. In this area it is quite capable of growing and flowering beautifully without any human intervention. In fact, in early spring it lights up the forests all along the roadside.

I walked out of my back door a few weeks ago to find an area I call the Arbor Path positively aglow from the explosion of yellow Jessamine blooms there. Appearing as though someone had taken a highlighter marker to both sides of the path, it was an amazing thing to see and absolutely impossible to ignore. What is more incredible is that due to illness I had failed to weed, fertilize, or otherwise care for the area for years, yet this plant was still blooming in indescribable profusion.

Lastly, I must take exception... read more


On Mar 25, 2009, wormfood from Lecanto, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

We let it grow wild up into the trees. No special care here. Even in the heat of the summer.


On Aug 22, 2008, rntx22 from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have had this plant for years. It can get big like any vine can, but we did not have to do much to keep it under control. I would say it is one of the less aggressive growers than most vines and easy to control.


On Jul 22, 2008, Madeline615 from Hendersonville, NC wrote:

I have one of these in front of my house. We live in Western NC. It didn't bloom much this past spring, two flowers. I need to know when to prune this as it is getting very tall for the space it is in. Anyone have any tips on when and how to do this. Thanks


On Jun 13, 2008, tinabeana from Greenville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is my state flower, and I was lucky enough to buy a house that already had significant quantities of it. It is is a prolific climber/rambler, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your needs. Keep an eye on it and prune as needed, because it will overgrow surrounding shrubs. The flowers are divine, and personally I enjoy the color contrast between the stems and the leaves. In my yard it grows in full and part sun, and works as a groundcover if there's nothing for it to climb.

Most notably, this plant is a US native that is recommened as a suitable alternative for many non-native and/or invasive plants. Ironically, four of the invasives below came with my property

PlantWise: Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants
Gelsemium sempervirens is a... read more


On Mar 8, 2008, shugnshay from Madisonville, LA wrote:

These ladies grow like crazy here in Louisiana. I've seen them in the very tops of the tallest pines here. I called them river flowers as a child. Every summer, when I'd go to a river or creek with my dad, the scent of these flowers seemed to float just above the surface of the water. Even when there wasn't a single yellow bloom in sight, we could tell when they were nearby. I liked to watch the fallen flowers float by in the lazy creek near dad's house.


On Mar 4, 2008, Korak from Jeffersonville, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Here in central Georgia, these vines have gone wild and grown high up into trees. (My property is a woodland thicket!) You rarely see the vines, but they do begin blooming early- and often the fallen blossoms cover the path! It took me a bit of effort to discover exactly what plant was garlanding my forest paths with golden flowers, because the vines were all hidden high in the treetops! Now I know and plan to use some as fence covers.


On Apr 20, 2007, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenes
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

I planted this in my garden in S W France last summer. It astounded me by shrugging off a week of -12C nights and -1C days in January, putting out a few buds and flowering immediately afterwards. Now, in April, it is looking very happy and has a number of flowers and many buds. I will need to wait a while before finding out whether its vigour is a problem here, but will hopefully be able to keep it in check with regular pruning. So far it has very much exceeded my expectations! My books describe it as only frost hardy.


On Nov 27, 2006, happy_girl from Redondo Beach, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

Got this from Logees and it's such a delicate little thing with small precious blooms. It seems to grow slow but from reading other posts, it will probably speed up in the springtime. I have it in a small container at the moment - it's only about 5" long. Fragrance is nice when you put your nose to the flowers.


On Jul 16, 2006, ron_rothman from (Zone 6a) wrote:

we knew it was a bit risky this far north, but we planted two gorgeous jessamines in early october. they were in a semi-sheltered location, but both died very early into the winter. we've replaced them with honeysuckles, which we expect will do much better.


On Apr 28, 2006, gooley from Hawthorne, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Native here. I have seen 2-inch trunks climbing up trees. In late winter you can smell the flowers and see the fallen yellow blooms even if the blooming bits are out of view way high up in the canopy. All parts are toxic but there isn't really much else wrong with it.


On Apr 26, 2006, mandragora56 from Brooksville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Purchased 2 weeks ago. It is really doing better than expected! Already climbing a bark wreath I have placed above it. My plant faces east and has partial sun throughout the day. I bought it at a popular home-improvement store and plan to get 1 more.


On Mar 13, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Carolina Jamine is a beautiful Texas Native vine with evergreen foliage and lovely yellow scented blossoms in the early Spring.
Very easy to grow.


On Mar 12, 2006, carolschuman from Arlington, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

Love this plant! I deep watered a couple times last summer during the dought we had, and my husband insisted on trimming it away from the garage roof, but otherwise very carefree!


On Nov 17, 2005, phrostyphish from Tuscaloosa, AL wrote:

I've used this over the years as a cover for unsightly chainlink fencing.
We also have it trained on two mock fences in front of my office - we put in "corners" of vinyl fence in front of the house where I work, and planted the Carolina jasmine. In a few short years, it's overtaken them both and we have the vine pruned back so that it resembles a hedge on either side. In the spring, they're both laden with yellow flowers that attract both bees and positive comments from our clients.

The forsythia of the south? But... I thought forsythia was the forsythia of the south. We live in Alabama and forsythia is EVERYWHERE here.
Heck, I have a few shrubs here that I've transplanted to the lawn from the woods behind my house.

But I digress... this stuff is... read more


On May 2, 2005, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Fast growing fountain that supplies the hummers and bees with food. Supply the neigborhood with new plants from the runners, keep it controlled with a cutback two feet from the gorund once a year and it is fine. Brilliant colour!


On Apr 2, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I think of this flower as the forsythia of the south -- it is one of the first flowers to emerge in Spring and can be frequently seen in our area growing wild in the woods along roadways, often reaching the tops of trees.

I have three of the plants in various places on fences in my yard. They are spreading rapidly and I expect in a few years I will happily have the fences covered with their canary yellow, sweetly fragrant flowers.


On Jan 22, 2005, Kauai17 from Leander, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

We planted this last year and have been very pleased with the speed of its growth! The flowers smell wonderful and they are a beautiful color.


On Oct 20, 2003, chrislyn from La Porte, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have moved my Jasmine several times so I am not sure if I have caused its lack of performance but it is still hanging in. I moved it from its first home in the ground in Waco, Texas to a large pot in Baytown, Texas. It did well in the pot blooming and growing well. I then, moved again and took it to La Porte, Texas and planted it in the ground again. I have provided a trellis for it but it hasn't done as well here. A lot of the leaves look scorched and it is starting to bloom now...and seed. I think I am finding Jasmine seedlings at the base of it.


On Aug 15, 2003, mudpuppie from Charleston, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant can get away from you if you are not careful to keep it trimmed and root pruned. It can develop extensive running roots and take over your fence or the area it is in. Growing it in pots is a great idea to keep it contained.


On Aug 14, 2003, Kaufmann from GOD's Green Earth
United States (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have had two growing in pots for 4 years with little care. They are very satisfactory with evergreen foliage and lovely, aromatic yellow flowers in Spring.


On Mar 3, 2003, arkiedee from Mabelvale, AR (Zone 7b) wrote:

If you keep it consistently watered, it will delight you with a renewed rush of blooms in early fall.