Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wildflower Wednesday~Carolina Jessamine

Yellow is such a beautiful color in the garden. One of my favorite yellows is our native evergreen vine, Carolina Jessamine. It can be found in abandoned fields and climbing in the canopies of our pine forests.

Southern Meadows

It is a pretty adaptable plant and does well in our clay soil. The great thing about this vine is that it can twine up trellises and over fences and walls but also makes a dense ground cover. I use it both ways in our garden.

Southern Meadows

The masses of fragrant flowers bloom in April in my garden and the tiger swallowtails love it. It was chosen as the state flower of our next door neighbor, South Carolina, because "it is indigenous to every nook and cranny of the State. It is the first premonitor of coming Spring; its fragrance greets us first in the woodland and its delicate flower suggests the pureness of gold; and its perpetual return out of the dead of winter suggests the lesson of constancy in, loyalty to, and patriotism in the service of the State" (S.C. General Assembly document).

Southern Meadows

All parts of this plant are poisonous which keeps the deer and other animals from munching on it. The primary pollinators are bumble bees, Eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies, European honey bees, blue orchard bees and blueberry bees (source: University of Georgia).


This is a wonderful native to add to any zone 6 and higher garden. Is it growing in your garden?

To see more beautiful wildflowers be sure to head over to Clay and Limestone and enjoy!

10 comments:

  1. It is growing in my garden, but it blooms much earlier here, usually beginning in late February or early March, depending on the weather. The blossoms are long gone now, but the memory of their lovely fragrance that perfumed the whole backyard lingers.

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  2. What beautiful yellow flowers! And fragrant too! They are probably not quite hardy enough for me. They look so perfect, especially with the swallowtail visitor.

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  3. Wonderful photographs. I don't know Carolina Jessamine, could you tell me the Latin name please? It looks so exotic to be a wild flower. What a gorgeous butterfly. I find them so hard to photograph; they just won't keep still.
    A lovely post. I do love to learn about wild flowers in other countries.

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    1. I should have included the botanical name in my post...Gelsemium sempervirens...sorry. Butterflies can be challenging to photograph, especially on tubular blooms where they don't have a place to sit while drinking nectar. They are easier to capture on flat blooms like coneflowers or rudbeckia. Try Take lots of shots and be patient.

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  4. It is a beauty! And doubly gorgeous with tiger swallowtails enjoying its nectar. Seeing the two together, and smelling the fragrance must feel like a little piece of heaven!

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  5. Gorgeous! I have not been successful growing Carolina Jessamine in my Austin, TX garden yet, but I see it around town, and supposedly it's native to this area, too. I've seen it quite pretty, but never as stuffed with blooms as in your pics. It must be in its perfect place in Georgia. I'll give it another try. The Tiger Swallowtail pics are great, too!

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    1. Thanks Mary! Yes, I think it is native to east Texas area. It is probably an earlier bloomer for you than here in Georgia. I hope you try it again. I love the blooms but also like that it is evergreen.

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  6. I somehow missed this post before now. Beautiful pictures of the butterfly and jessamine! I haven't actually cultivated any but it grows wild everywhere here, and grows crazy fast.

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  7. I have always loved this plant on the blogs that have shown it...too bad I cannot grow it in my zone 5....what a perfect plant.

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  8. Looks like a wonderful vine. Too bad it is not hardy here in zone 5. I generally grow annual vines, as well as clematis (not native) and trumpet honeysuckle.

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"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

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