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Carolina-Jessamine

Gelsemium sempervirens (L.) Ait. f.

Carolina-jessamine
Figure 33.—Carolina-jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens)
Other common names.—Yellow jasmine or jessamine, Carolina wild woodbine, evening trumpetflower.

Habitat and range.—Carolina jessamine is a plant native to the South, found along banks of streams, in woods' lowlands, and thickets, generally near the coast, from the eastern part of Virginia to Florida and Texas and south to Mexico.

Description.—This highly ornamental climbing or trailing plant grows abundantly in the woods of the Southern States, its slender stems are festooned over trees and fences, and its presence is made known by the delightful perfume exhaled by its flowers. The smooth, shining stems of this vine sometimes reach a length of 20 feet. The leaves, which are from 1 1/2 to 3 inches long, generally remain on the vine during the winter. The bright-yellow funnel-shaped flowers, which appear from January to April, are very fragrant but poisonous. The rootstock, attaining a length of 15 feet or more, runs near the surface of the around. It is branched and here and there produces fibrous rootless. When fresh it is very yellow and has a peculiar odor and bitter taste.

Part used.—The rootstock, collected when the plant has come into flower, and cut into pieces from 1 to 6 inches long.


Sievers, A.F. 1930. The Herb Hunters Guide. Misc. Publ. No. 77. USDA, Washington DC.
Last update March 18, 1998 by aw