Q: I remember reading about a variety of Jasmine that was suitable for the Middle South, could tolerate partial shade & reached 6-8 feet against a trellis. I want to use that in my landscaping this spring & cannot locate what I thought I had found some months ago? This was less viney than Carolina Jasmine & did not get that tall.
Is there such a specimen?
A: “Jasmine” is the name that many people give to a variety of vines with sweet-smelling flowers. The South’s two most popular jasmines — Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) and Confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) — aren’t true jasmines. The former has fragrant yellow flowers in early spring, while the latter offers extremely fragrant white flowers in late spring. Carolina jessamine is hardy just about everywhere in the South, while Confederate jasmine is usually limited to the Lower South on down.
Until recently, I would never have recommended Confederate jasmine for the Middle South. But now, thanks to the miracle of global warming, it may be viable there, for a few years anyway. It typically grows 8 feet in a single year, but I doubt it would be as vigorous in your area. A true jasmine you may want to try is common or poet’s jasmine (Jasminum officinale), which bears very fragrant white flowers in summer. Some people in the Middle South report it being hardy there. An excellent source for all the vines mentioned is Top Tropicals (www.toptropicals.com).