Written by Don Richardson 
Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium Sempervirens)
Plant Type
Perennial Vine
10-20’ tall, 3-6’ wide 
Sun Exposure
Full Sun – Part Shade
Soil Type
Acidic – Nearly Neutral
Soil pH
6.8 – 7.2
Bloom Time
Most of the year
Hardiness Zones
7-10 (USDA)
Is a Florida Native
Need Pollinator
Edible Plant
Medicinal Plant
Any reference to medicinal or culinary use of plants or plant parts should in no way be considered an endorsement by The Ocala Food Forest or its staff. Research is crucial in safe and proper consumption or experimentational use of any plant.

Gelsemium sempervirens, otherwise known as yellow jasmine or Carolina jessamine, is a flowering evergreen vine native to the southeastern United States. It is widely used in landscaping and horticulture for its attractive foliage and fragrant flowers. In this blog post, we take a comprehensive look at this unique plant and delve into its history, uses, and maintenance requirements.
History of the Gelsemium Sempervirens Plant
The Gelsemium sempervirens plant has been a part of Southern culture for centuries. The Cherokee Indians were the first to recognize the medicinal properties of the plant and used it to treat numerous ailments including fever, sore throat, headaches, anxiety, and depression. In 1790, it was officially named by French botanist Andre Michaux who noted that it had many similarities with other species in the genus gelsemium.
Uses of the Gelsemium Sempervirens Plant
Today, Gelsemium sempervirens is widely used in landscaping and horticulture. Its fragrant flowers are often used to create floral arrangements while its attractive foliage makes it a popular choice for gardeners looking to add some color to their yard or patio. Additionally, some people use it medicinally as an antispasmodic or sedative for treating conditions such as anxiety or insomnia. However, due to its toxicity when taken internally in large doses, it should only be used under medical supervision.
Maintenance Requirements of the Gelsemium Sempervirens Plant
The Gelsemium sempervirens plant is relatively easy to care for as long as you provide it with plenty of sunlight and moist soil that drains well. It does not need any special fertilizers or nutrients but will benefit from pruning after flowering season has ended in order to keep growth in check. Furthermore, since it is susceptible to fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and rust spots when humidity levels are high, it is important to make sure you water your plants deeply but infrequently so that they do not become overly wet or saturated with moisture.   
In summary, Gelsemium sempervirens (yellow jasmine) is an evergreen vine native to the southeastern United States that has been around since ancient times. Its fragrant flowers and attractive foliage make it ideal for landscaping purposes while its medicinal properties have made it a popular choice among those looking for natural remedies for certain conditions such as anxiety or insomnia (though caution should be taken when using internally). With proper maintenance such as pruning after flowering season ends and making sure soil drainage is good by avoiding overwatering your plants during humid months—it can be an incredibly rewarding addition to any garden!


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