Click on terms for botanical definitions.
Carolina jessamine is a perennial, evergreen climbing or trailing vine. It occurs naturally in mesic and hydric hammocks, pine flatwoods, thickets, bottomland swamps, and ruderal areas. It sometimes grows as an open trailing groundcover in the woods and also creates cascades of brilliant yellow as it grows up into trees and trails off branches.
Flowers typically bloom from winter through spring and will attract hummingbirds and larger butterflies who visit its tubular flowers.
Family: Gelsemiaceae (Gelsemium family)
Native range: Panhandle, north and central peninsula, and Martin and Palm Beach counties.
To see where natural populations of Carolina jessamine have been vouchered, visit www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu.
Soil: Dry to moderately moist soils
Exposure: Full sun to moderate shade
Growth habit: 20’+ long in multiple directions
Propagation: Seed, cuttings, division/transplanting of suckers
Garden tips: This easy-to-grow vine adapts well on fences and trellises where its small leaves and twining stems create an airy, light appearance. Growth is moderately fast but can be contained or shaped with pruning.
Caution: All parts of this plant are poisonous if swallowed. Do not plant in areas frequented by children or pets.
Carolina jessamine is often available from nurseries that specialize in Florida native plants. Visit www.PlantRealFlorida.org to find a nursery in your area.