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Gelsemium sempervirens - False Jasmine

Family:Loganiaceae
Habit:Climber
Height:3
Synonyms:G. nitidum.
Range:South-eastern N. America - Florida to Texas and north to Arkansas and S. Virginia.
Gelsemium sempervirens (False Jasmine) is a Climber which grows to a height of 3m . It has a hardness rating of 9.
False Jasmine will flower in November to January. The flowers from this plant are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and they are pollinated by Insects

Soil Information

False Jasmine will grow in light (sandy),medium (loamy),hard (clay) soil. It is / is important for the soil to be well drained.
The soil prefers the following PH / acid levels :
- pH of less than 6, Acidic soils
- pH between 6 and 8, Neutral soils
- pH greater than 8, Basic soils
False Jasmine prefers moist soils

Ideal Planting Locations

False Jasmine can grow in semi or areas with no shade.

Along sea coasts[166] in dry to wet woods, thickets and sands[43].

Planting places suited to this plant described below.

Cultivation Details

Succeeds in most soils[182]. Requires a warm sheltered position in full sun or light shade in a well-drained moisture retentive moderately fertile soil[200]. Rich soils discourage flowering by encouraging excessive growth[200]. This species is not very hardy in Britain, succeeding outdoors only in the mildest areas of the country and even then usually requiring the protection of a wall[166, 182]. Plants can tolerate temperatures down to about -10c if the wood has been thoroughly ripened[200]. A very ornamental plant, the flowers are sweetly fragrant[222] emitting a honey-like aroma[245]. This species is the state flower of South Carolina[238]. A climbing plant, supporting itself by twining around other plants and often ascending to the tops of lofty trees in its native habitat[4].

Edible Uses*

* See disclaimer
Edible Rating: 0/5
None known

Medicinal Uses*

* See disclaimer
Medicinal Rating: 4/5
The roots are analgesic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, febrifuge, hypnotic, mydriatic, nervine, sedative and vasodilator[46, 165, 192, 222, 238]. A powerful depressant of the central nervous system, deadening pain and reducing spasms[222]. It is said to suspend and hold in check muscular irritability and nervous excitement with more force and power than any known remedy. Whilst it relaxes the muscles, it also relieves all sense of pain[4]. It is used internally in the treatment of neuralgia, migraine, sciatica, toothache, severe pain (especially in terminal illnesses or accidents) and meningitis[238]. Externally it has been used as a folk remedy for cancer[222]. The root is best harvested in the autumn and dried carefully for later use[4]. Extreme care is advised with the use of this plant, it should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner[238]. Excessive doses cause respiratory depression, giddiness, double vision and death[238]. It should not be prescribed for patients with heart disease, hypotension or myasthenia gravis[238]. See also the notes above on toxicity. The fresh root is used to make a homeopathic remedy[232]. It is used in the treatment of a variety of complaints, including fevers, flu and headaches[232].

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a warm greenhouse[200]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in the greenhouse until plants are at least two years old. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and give them some protection from winter cold for at least their next winter. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[200].

Scented parts of the plants

Flowers : Fresh

Known Hazards

All parts of the plant usually contain toxic alkaloids[200]. Eating just one flower has reportedly been lethal to children[207, 222]. The plant can also cause skin allergies in some people and it is possible that the plant toxins can be absorbed through the skin, especially if there are cuts[238].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivars

no recorded cultivars

References

Gray's Manual of Botany.
Fernald. M. L.
Author: Fernald. M. L.
Rating:
Publisher : A bit dated but good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
Date of Publication : 1950

The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Huxley. A.
Author: Huxley. A.
Rating:
Publisher : Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
Date of Publication : 1992

Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas
Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J
Author: Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J
Rating: http://artemis.austincollege.edu/acad/bio/gdiggs/NCTXpdf.htm
Publisher : An excellent flora, which is also available on-line.
Date of Publication : 1999

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