MYSTERY PLANT STRIKES AGAIN!!

Anita Cholewa anita at MOZART.CBS.UMN.EDU
Thu Feb 13 10:49:55 CST 1997


This message forwarded from John Nelson

Wed 12 Feb 1:00pm

Friends:

    Of all of you who are residents of the USA, I am sure you will
agree with me that the state flower of South Carolina, "Yellow
jessamine", or Gelsemium sempervirens (Loganiaceae), is surely the
finest of all those selected by the various 50 states. It has
charming evergreen foliage, brilliant yellow corollas, an
unbelievably wonderful baby-powder fragrance, and is quite popular
with bumblebees. (OK, so the nectar is reputed to be toxic. Avoid
honey made from this plant.)

    Anyway, the new phone book for Columbia has just come out, and
it features something we are to believe is Gelsemium sempervirens on
the cover, along with the state bird (Carolina wren: I think it is
accurate). I maintain that the plant is completely wrong--that it
is, in fact, some a Rhododendron. Anybody wanna take a look? I hope
the graphics provided by the jpg files are sufficient for easy
observation of the well-exserted stamens...there are too many for
Gelsemium I think.

    http://cricket.biol.sc.edu/flower1.jpg   [the full shot]
    http://cricket.biol.sc.edu/flower2.jpg   [for a close-up]

    Thanks, John Nelson


John B. Nelson
Curator of the Herbarium (USCH)
Department of Biological Sciences
University of South Carolina
Columbia SC 29208

nelson at biol.sc.edu
803-777-8196 phone
803-777-4002 fax




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