Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Difference Between Carolina Jessamine and Carolina Jasmine

The above is a picture of Carolina Jessamine. It is blooming now  (March/April) and can be seen gracing the tops of trees as you drive. It is a thin but strong vine native to the southeast and produces yellow flowers without scent. It is not a Jasmine but is Gelsemium sempervirens. It is semi-evergreen and leaves turn a bronze-ish color when the weather is cold. A common name for this is Carolina jasmine although it is not a jasmine. (As far as I know all jasmines have a fragrance). The leaves are about 2 inches long and narrow and pointed.
This is confederate jasmine. It is evergreen and has roundish leaves. Its flowers are fragrant, and it is a much sturdier vine than Jessamine.
As far as I am aware there are no worries about invasiveness of either of these two. Jessamine does reseed somewhat but seedlings are easily removed or shared. There are reports of confederate jasmine making seeds but apparently this is not a problem either.

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