South Carolina State Flower - Yellow Jessamine

Yellow jessamine grows throughout South Carolina.

Yellow jessamine grows throughout South Carolina.

Yellow jessamine is a climbing woody vine that is indigenous to South Carolina and has leaves that stay green all year long. The state flower grows in every part of the state and blooms from February to April with fragrant clusters of yellow, tubular-shaped flowers. Other common names used to refer to yellow jessamine include yellow jasmine, Carolina jessamine, evening trumpet flower and trumpet vine


Yellow jessamine is one of the first harbingers of spring in South Carolina, and to the early leaders in the state, it represented patriotism and loyalty with its perennial appearance. In 1924, the legislature of South Carolina officially named yellow jessamine the state flower. In 2000, the U.S. Mint used the yellow jessamine along with the palmetto tree and the Carolina wren to represent the state on the South Carolina quarter.


Yellow jessamine is a wildflower that can be seen growing along the roadside throughout the state of South Carolina. The slender vines cover fences, walls and trees. Once established, the vines grow at a moderate pace, up to 20 feet in height. Cultivated with plenty of water in rich soil, yellow jessamine also serves as abundant ground cover. Yellow jessamine is an ideal ground cover to plant on hillsides to prevent erosion and works just as well beside a porch or patio. As a fast-growing native plant, the yellow jessamine provides a sweet smelling fragrance to the landscape. The yellow, golden flowers grow to about 1 ½ inches wide and attract butterflies to their sweet nectar. The flower’s blossoms grow best in full sunlight, though they will flourish in partial shade as well. The plant can withstand periods of drought, though it prefers regular watering.


You can start yellow jessamine from seed in containers and transfer the vines to open ground once they begin to fill the planter. It’s best to plant the vines outside during cool weather just after the last frost. Space plants three feet apart if you plan to use them for ground cover. Each separate plant should be placed about four to eight feet apart if you plan on using the vines as a trellis or wall climber. In rich South Carolina soil, yellow jessamine doesn’t require a lot of fertilizer. Use a minimum of balanced fertilizer because overfeeding inhibits the growth of the yellow flowers.


Yellow jessamine serves as an ideal deterrent if you live in an area with abundant wildlife. Deer and other animals won’t eat the vines because they are poisonous. Every part of the plant is poisonous, according to the Clemson University Extension Center, so you should keep small children away from the flowers and call your local poison control agency if your child puts the flowers in her mouth. If you have sensitive skin, you may develop skin irritations or a rash when handling the plant.

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