09 Jun

Gelsemium sempervirens: The Carolina Jasmine

Gelsemium is a small genus of evergreen climbers from Southeast Asia and eastern North America particularly Virginia, Florida, Texas and Arkansas. These fast growing climbers can be grown for profuse flowering in spring. The most popular plant from this genus is Gelsemium sempervirens; it is commonly described with various names: Carolina Jasmine, False Jasmine, Yellow Jessamine, and Evening Trumpetflower.

Gelsemium sempervirens, the Carolina Jasmine

Gelsemium sempervirens, the Carolina Jasmine, Image by Mary Keim

Gelsemium sempervirens is a fast growing climber that grows up to 20 feet. It can easily climb adjacent trees or structure, grow on fences, or form a mound when allowed to grow freely on the ground. The plant is not fussy about growing conditions and can be grow in almost any garden.

Gelsemium sempervirens produces showy, evergreen foliage of dark-green color. Yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers grow profusely in spring. These attractive flowers last long and have a hint of fragrance. Flowering is followed by formation of small red berries. Both the flowers and fruits are poisonous and can be lethal for livestock.

Apart from its horticultural use, Gelsemium sempervirens is also used as a homeopathic remedy for motor paralysis, general prostration, dizziness, drowsiness, and muscular weakness.

Gelsemium sempervirens is propagated from seeds or divisions. It requires full to partial sun and moderate watering.