Pretty poison

Published: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 02:06 PM.

If you plant your yellow jasmine on a slope or bank, it will serve as a bushy, rambling groundcover. Where the vine tendrils touch the ground, they form vigorous runners that allow the plant to spread, sprawl and naturalize. Whether grown as a vine or as groundcover, this jasmine has no serious pest problems.

Yellow jessamine is the state flower of South Carolina. Historically this plant was used to treat rashes, measles, tonsillitis, rheumatism, pneumonia, malaria, cramps, hysteria and headaches. It was once a popular remedy for heart disease.

All parts of this plant contain highly toxic strychnine-related chemicals and should not be eaten. The sap may cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals. Children, mistaking this flower for honeysuckle, have been poisoned by sucking the nectar from the flower. The nectar is also toxic to honeybees, but may be beneficial to bumblebees since it is toxic to some of their parasites. Animals and birds may also be susceptible to the toxin, according to some experts.


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