Are you searching for a good climber to add beauty to a bare wall or fence? Gelsemium sempervirens ‘Margarita’ (Carolina Jasmine) is a fine-textured, evergreen, perennial vine and a PHS Gold Medal winner. The twining growth habit and fragrant yellow trumpet-shape flowers of this native are equivalent to an Olympic score of ten. ‘Margarita’ will scramble up or cascade over obstacles, creating a splash of color wherever it grows and reaching heights of 10 to 20 feet.
The Gold Medal program honors and promotes woody plants of outstanding merit. Nominations for Gold Medal Plants are submitted to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society by home gardeners, garden designers, horticulturists, landscape architects, nursery owners and propagators. The plants are chosen for their superb eye-appeal and evaluated for their performance and hardiness in the growing region of Zones 5-7. Gold Medal winners exhibit standards of excellence for pest and disease resistance, as well as ease of growing. They are also chosen for their year-round beauty, whether it be foliage, flower, form or bark.
“This plant exemplifies all the best characteristics of a Gold Medal winner,” says Steve Mostardi, Chair of the PHS Gold Medal Plant Selection Committee. “It’s a carefree native that grows in sun or shade, and one of the few vines that keeps its foliage all winter.”
In peak bloom now, Steve recommends getting this plant in the ground anytime through mid-summer. ‘Margarita’ is readily available at nurseries throughout the area.