Gelsemium, Carolina Jessamine 'Margarita'

Gelsemium sempervirens

Family: Gelsemiaceae
Genus: Gelsemium (jel-SEM-ee-um) (Info)
Species: sempervirens (sem-per-VY-renz) (Info)
Cultivar: Margarita


Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Bessemer, Alabama

Huntington Beach, California

Merced, California

Jacksonville, Florida

Lake City, Florida

Columbus, Georgia

Lula, Georgia

Taylorsville, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Plain Dealing, Louisiana

Norton, Massachusetts

Corinth, Mississippi

Bates City, Missouri

Durham, North Carolina

Germanton, North Carolina

Kure Beach, North Carolina

Bucyrus, Ohio

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Souderton, Pennsylvania

Beaufort, South Carolina

Bluffton, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Okatie, South Carolina

Broaddus, Texas

Dallas, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Wharton, Texas

Lynchburg, Virginia

Petersburg, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 7, 2010, suentommy from Souderton, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I planted this Jessamine two years ago. It is on the southeast side of the house and growing up a porch post. It grows very quickly and I have had to prune it a little to keep it in bounds. It flowers heavily in spring and smells wonderful. At the other end of the porch I have clematis montana "rubens" and after one finishes most of its bloom the other takes over. It doesn't seem to mind too much rain in the winter and spring and then too little rain in the summer and fall. It just keeps growing and has not had any die back from winter. This plant is very hardy here and I would imagine would still work well in colder climates.


On Feb 25, 2009, orygungrown from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have had one of these in the ground for going on 3 years now. I checked the hardiness before I purchased it, but it doesn't seem to like Portland Oregon. It looks shabby by spring, this year nearly leafless, it takes all summer for it to leaf out properly and it's only had one blossom in 3 years.


On Dec 17, 2008, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

I've grown this plant for several years and not even a leaf has been frost-damaged. I can't believe that isn't more widely grown. If you live in zone 6, don't hesitate trying this lovely plant.


On Feb 28, 2008, 1cros3nails4gvn from Bluffton, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

this is the state flower of SC, and it grows and blooms profusely in the wild in zone 7 and up. here in SE SC it blooms usually in February starting at or before Valentines day. the fragrance is wonderful


On Mar 11, 2007, cactusman102 from Lawrence, KS wrote:

I am experimenting survivability with this cultivar this year. Anyone had any success in zone 5b/6a? I expect it to die to the ground and come back as a perennial vine each year.


On Nov 30, 2006, bloomheaven from Southern,
United States wrote:

This plant is an abundant bloomer, blooming several times a season.


On Oct 18, 2006, luvbamboo from San Antonio, TX wrote:

I live in NE San Antonio, and have had this plant for almost ten years. It is planted on the North corner of my backyard, and has climbed up to my roof, and I have stringers going to side and along back of house. In third week of Feb. it blooms like CRAZY!! And I am a bit stunned that it is budding right now, Mid Oct. and already has some blooms...(???) I have lots of seed pods, but have not taken much time to get any going. Ones have dropped to the ground, and start off but it seems slow growing. Thanks for reading!


On Jun 29, 2006, joywhi1 from Kelseyville, CA wrote:

Grew this plant in Huntington Beach, CA. Beautiful yellow flowers in Spring, then whispy light green folage the rest of the year. A very fast grower. Temperature was approx. 40 to 90 degrees and it was in afternoon sun. Needs to be supported, gets to 15-20 ft, if you let it.


On May 30, 2006, joegee from Bucyrus, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This cultivar of gelsemium sempervirens was one of the 2005 Gold Medal Plant Winners of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. It was chosen in part for its superior sized, fragrant yellow flowers, and in part for its cold-hardiness. According to, this cultivar has survived a -25 F cold spell with no damage.

It is a versatile vine and is adaptable to many soil conditions, but some in the southern United States consider it invasive.


Margarita finishes its first season outside in Bucyrus, Ohio with no appreciable winter damage. Our coldest temperature was 0 Fahrenheit, but this vine stayed evergreen. There was no defoliation. I'd expect this to be root hardy even if the top of the vine were killed. 0 Fahrenheit doesn't ph... read more