South Carolina State Flower – Yellow Jessamine, Carolina Jasmine
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Yellow jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) became our official state flower in March 14,1924. Because it is native to our state, it is also called Carolina jessamine. Other names include trumpet vine, evening trumpet flower, and both yellow jasmine and Carolina Jasmine. (Jessamine and jasmine are two variations of the same word, and both are acceptable and accurate names for this plant. Here we refer to it as jessamine since that is how it is spelled in Joint Resolution No. 534, which established the flower as an emblem of South Carolina nearly a century ago.)
SC State Flower – Yellow Jasmine – Photo by James Baker
Jessamine is an evergreen vine that climbs trees, fences, and latticework all over our state. It blooms in very late winter or early spring, offering the first hope of warm weather to come! This flower loves sun and can grow quite fast given plenty of space and moist, well-drained soil.
When the US Mint decided to release quarters for each of the states, it was decided that Yellow Jessamine would appear on South Carolina's quarter, along with the palmetto tree and the Carolina Wren (our state bird).
Close-up of Carolina, or Yellow, Jasmine – Photo by Steve Coleman
Important* – Although jessamine's delicate, funnel-shaped blossoms are beautiful and fragrant, these flowers are poisonous! Touching them can produce an allergic reaction, and eating them can be fatal. Be careful not to mistake them with flowers such as honeysuckle, which contain a sweet and unharmful nectar.
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