Jessamine Joy

The first of the bi-annual blooms of out state flower, the Yellow Jessamine, are emerging to add to the colorful scenery in Charleston.. There are versions of this plant found in South America as well as the Southeastern US. It is a climbing vine, found usually on gates around historic Charleston, featuring a trumpet-shaped yellow flower and what botanist call “lanceolate” leaves. The scientific name for the plant is a curious combination of Latin, Italian and Turkish. The name “gelsemium” is a Latinized version of the Italian “gelsemino”, which means “jasmine”, which comes from the Turkish “yasemin”. Sempervirens is a Latin combination, meaning “always flourishing”. It is also known as Yellow Jasmine, Carolina Jasmine, Evening Trumpetflower and Woodbine. The flower was supposedly used for medicinal benefits centuries ago, but I wouldn’t advise trying it, as it contains strychnine-based alkaloids that a toxic, as well as a sap that can irritate the skin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *