South Carolina State Flower
Yellow Jessamine (common name)
Gelsemium sempervirens (scientific name)
Yellow jessamine became the South Carolina state flower in 1924, chosen because it’s common all over the state and because it’s a harbinger of spring. The plant is a twining vine found along the ground in open, sunny areas. If there’s not enough sun, the plant will try to climb and can grow on trellises or up trees, spreading from tree to tree when conditions are good. The vines have shiny, pointed, and dark evergreen leaves. When in bloom, yellow jessamine features clusters of yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers that are very fragrant and attractive to some types of bees and butterflies.
At the open end, the flowers divide into five rounded petal-like lobes that curve back towards the trumpet slightly. Sometimes the flowers’ color is such a deep yellow that the centers are orange. The flowers are short-lived, each one lasting only a day, and give way to a 1 to 1 1/2–inch (2.5–3.8 cm) long double seed capsule that holds numerous dark brown seeds. The leaves normally remain on the plant and stay green all winter, but they often take on a purple or yellowish cast in cold weather. Though it’s not related to jasmine plants, yellow jessamine’s scientific name is taken from the Italian word for "jasmine."
Plant: Vine with pointed leaves and clusters of yellow flowers
Mature Height: 10–20 ft (3–6 m) with support
Flowers: 1.25 in (3 cm) long and 1–1.25 in (2.5–3 cm) wide
Flower Color: Yellow
Leaves: 2–4 in (5–10 cm) long and .4–.6 in (1–1.5 cm) wide, pointed
Fruit/Seed Color: Brown
Location: Sunny, open areas with moderate moisture
Range: Guatemala north to the southeastern United States
Click to enlarge an image
|Author: World Trade Press|