Yellow Jessamine: Beautiful, But Worthy of Caution

Mar 24, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. For all its beauty, if you get yellow jessamine growing in amongst large shrubs, you are going to have a time getting it out. Its twining and twisting slender stems are strong, hard to disengage from surrounding plant material, and are full of rash-causing alkaloids. Use gloves and pruners if this vine is growing in an area where it’s unwelcome.

But a rash is a minor complication compared to what happens if any part of the plant ingested. With high concentrations of the poisonous gelsemine, related to strychnine, eating leaves or flowers can be fatal. Although sucking the nectar from the imported Japanese honeysuckle is a summer delight, warn your children and less botanically knowledgeable friends about how to tell the difference between these two vines that are somewhat similar in appearance and are both found in all parts of the state.