Wild Florida Photo - Gelsemium sempervirens

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Gelsemium sempervirens




Florida native


A frequent evergreen vine of flatwoods, hammocks and disturbed sites throughout most of Florida except for the southernmost peninsula. The range extends through the southeast, west into Texas and Arkansas, north into Tennessee and Virginia.
Often high-climbing, this vine produces yellow trumpet-shaped flowers, usually appearing between December and April in Florida. The flowers are on short pedicels and may be solitary, or in axillary clusters of 2 to 3. The flower tube is 2.5-3.8 cm (1 to 1-1/2 in.) long with five spreading corolla lobes. The sepals are obtuse - having blunt or rounded apices. The leaves are opposite, simple, entire and lanceolate, 6-9 cm (2-1/2 to 3-1/2 in.) long and 1.5 cm (2/3 in.) wide with a long tapering tip. Fruit is an oblong capsle 1.4-2.5 cm (1/2 to 1 in.) long and 0.8-1.2 cm (<1/2 in.) wide.
All parts of this plant are poisonous. Ingestion can cause death and skin contact can cause dermatitis, prompting another common name, cow itch.

Gelsemium sempervirens is a member of the Loganiaceae - Logania family.