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Invasive Plants and Their native Alternatives: Gold Coast Jasmine (Jasminum dichotomum)

Gold coast jasmine is an evergreen woody climber or rambling shrub native to tropical western and central Africa but was introduced in the 1920s as an ornamental into Florida in the 1920s where it has invaded hardwood forests, climbing trees and covering the native vegetation. It grows up to 26’ long with climbing stems longer, and has oval to roundish glossy, leathery leaves 2-4’ long and with pointed tips. Clusters of pink buds in leaf axils open to white, 1” long flowers that are star-shaped, fragrant, and open at night. USDA Hardiness Zone: 9-10

The following natives are recommended as alternatives:

Supple Jack (Berchemia acandens)
With smooth gray-green stems, this twining vine has ovate to elliptic leave up to 2.5” long and with distinctive parallel pinnate veins. Terminal clusters of greenish white flowers appear in mid to late spring and give way to blue fleshy single seeded fruit. Plants are native to the central and southern parts of the US from Virginia to Kansas, south to Florida and Texas where they grow in a variety of habits including swamps, limestone glades, and riparian banks. Hardiness Zones 6-9

Coralbead carolinus (Cocculus carolinus )
A deciduous vine, coralbead grows ten to fourteen feet long and has medium green triangular to heart-shaped leaves up to four inches long, and bright red, flattened, pea-sized fruits that mature in late summer and persist into fall. It is native to open woods, wood margins, glades, fence rows, roadsides and margins of streams and ponds from Virginia to Kansas, south to Florida and Texas. Native to USDA Hardiness Zones 5-9

Swamp Jessamine (Gelsemium rankinii)
This evergreen to semi-evergreen twining vine grows up to 20’ long and has glossy green leves and bright yellow flowers that appear in both spring and fall. The flowers lack fragrance and are smaller than those of Carolina jassamine. Native to southeastern US from Louisiana to the Carolinas and south to Florida where it grows in swampy areas. USDA Hardiness Zones 7-8

Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens)
Growing up to 15’ long, swamp jassamine is a climbing evergreen vine with glossy, oval, pointed leaves and fragrant yellow flowers in spring. Native from Virginia and Arkansas, south to Florida, Texas, and Louisiana where it grows in low open woods, savannas, pond margins, and hedgerows. USDA Hardiness Zones 7-10