Our State Flower is Blooming

Mar 20, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Our state flower, which is making a glorious display along the roadsides and on trellis and fences,  is  yellow jessamine. The scientific name is Gelsemium sempervirens, sempervirens meaning ever living for the ever-green foliage on this vine.

Although some people say yellow jasmine and there are other plants with yellow flowers that have that common name, the joint resolution that was passed  by the legislature on March 14, 1924, referred to it as Yellow Jessamine, and I’m kind of a stickler for that pronunciation. When the US treasury started making quarters for each state, the image for South Carolina was a lovely drawing of yellow jessamine along with our state tree, the Palmetto (which actually isn’t a tree but a monocot more closely related to corn or grass than an oak or hickory) and our charming state bird, the Carolina wren.