Carolina yellow jessamine (or jasmine) is the state flower of South Carolina. This plant is a twining vine that is native to the Southeast US, so it is well-adapted to our LA climate. Carolina yellow jessamine can grow up to 3-6 meters high when given suitable climbing support. The leaves are evergreen and a beautiful dark green. The trumpet-shaped yellow flowers arise in clusters and sometimes have an orange center. The flowers are strongly scented and produce nectar that attracts a range of pollinators.
Historically, this plant was used as a topical to treat the symptoms of measles, tonsillitis, and headaches. However, all parts of this plant exude chemicals that are toxic to people and animals, so should not be consumed. The nectar is also toxic to honeybees, which may cause brood death when the nectar is gathered by the bees and brought back to their hive. Despite the potential hazards, this is a popular garden plant in the south and is frequently trained to cover walls.
Being a native plant it tends to be hardy and well-adapted in the residential or commercial landscape. Established native plants can grow with little to no fertilizer and pesticides, and may require little to no irrigation. In this way, native plants generally help protect water resources, allowing gardeners to reduce fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation practices which otherwise can contribute to stormwater runoff pollution and degradation of downstream water quality.