Saturday, May 2, 2015

Carolina Jessamine climbing a Crape Myrtle Trellis

Hey, the crape myrtle (a ~15+' Dynamite) isn't leafed out yet so we let it's branches do double duty as scaffolding. The Gelsimium never seems to build up enough mass to interfere with the crape myrtle. It's not really noticeable after Dynamite leafs out. Carolina Jessamine, Gelsimium sempervirens, was not a hardy plant for me 30 years ago. This selection, 'Margarita' was released as a hardy form and surely enough, we've had it here for 10 years or so. The last two winters were fairly harsh by 7b standards. Obviously the vine is happy, all buds living and flowering. 

As a National Arboretum person, I hate to admit to growing a non USNA CM in my private garden. I almost always prefer Don Egolf's USNA introductions, but I like this variety because it's so narrowly upright. And that garish harsh red really works for me in the summer. We tried the same variety in our Florida garden and the humid summers resulted in so much leaf disease that the plants are permanently defoliated.


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