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House with native plants and animalsGoing Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants
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Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens)

Carolina Jessamine is an evergreen vine that scrambles over small shrubs and fences. The leaves are opposite with a smooth margin. The bark is reddish brown and somewhat fissured/fluted. In the spring, a bright yellow, bell shaped, flower with 5 short, rounded lobes matures in small clusters. The vine produces a 1-inch, somewhat flattened capsule that matures in fall.


Areas of dense growth provide extreme weather and winter cover. Flowers are attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators. Flowers are poisonous to people if eaten.

Plant Type Vine
Leaf Type Evergreen
Deer Resistance High
Regions Piedmont, Coastal Plain
Light Full Sun, Partial Sun/Shade
Soil Moist
Bloom Times Early Spring, Spring
Seed Times Fall
Wildlife Value Winter Cover, Hummingbird Nectar, Butterfly/Insect Nectar
NC Forest ServiceNC Cooperative Extension