Wild Weeds – Weed of the Month
Yellow Jessamine, also called Carolina Jasmine, is a Florida native but will only catch your eye for a short period. The vine is often found trailing through the trees in natural areas , and although it can bloom from winter to spring, flowers are only visible for a short time. For a week to two week period you will notice the bright yellow blooms peeking from the tree-tops across North Florida.
It’s short flowering period doesn’t stop this vine from becoming a prevalent feature in Florida’s natural areas. Once you learn to identify the vine by the leaves you will notice it all year long. Since it is a Florida native, this plant is acceptable to plant in the home landscape or garden and will maintain a full and bushy appearance if located in full sun. If shaded, the plant will vine up towards the sun, with a single vine reaching lengths greater than 20 feet occasionally.
One should take care when handling Yellow Jessamine as it is toxic to humans and animals. The milky sap can be a skin irritant to some, but ingestion should be completely avoided. There is also some evidence that Yellow Jessamine is toxic to bees, therefore it should be removed from around bee hives as a precaution. If there are plenty of other flowers blooming when Yellow Jessamine is, bees have been known to avoid the plant, or the toxic effects are little since the bee accumulates so much pollen.
Wild Weeds is a monthly spotlight written by Alicia Halbritter, Baker County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent. Wild Weeds highlights weeds you may find in Florida on the roadside, while hiking, in the forest, or possibly even in your yard. Searching for more information on a particular plant? Email Alicia at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information/questions.