South Carolina State Flower

South Carolina State Flower

Yellow Jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

The yellow jessamine was officially adopted by the South Carolina General Assembly on February 1, 1924. It was adopted because it is indigenous to every nook and corner of South Carolina. It is also the first sign of coming spring with its strong fragrance and delicate gold flowers. 

Its perpetual return out of the dead winter suggests the lesson of constancy in, loyalty to and patriotism in the service of the State. “No flower that blooms holds such perfume, as kindness and sympathy won. Wherever there grows the sheltering pineIs clinging a Yellow Jessamine vine. From Legend of the Yellow Jessamine,  by Mrs. Teresa Strickland of Anderson, South Carolina, when the flower was made the emblem of Dixie Chapter, U.D.C., about 1906.

The “Carolina” or yellow jessamine  is defined by the New International Encyclopedia as “A climbing plant which grows upon trees and fences and bears a profusion of yellow, funnel-shaped flowers an inch in diameter, with a fragrance similar to that of the true Jasmine.” Its odor on a damp evening or morning fills the atmosphere with a rare and delicate sweetness.