Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) blooms in mid- to late winter in the Mid-Atlantic region. You will see them flowering in front yards—cascading over retaining walls and down the sides of steps. My favorite use of them is in the large concrete containers that line the National Mall in Washington, DC.
The plant itself is classified as a deciduous perennial, though most consider it a shrub and it can be treated as a vine as well.
The weeping habit of Winter Jasmine is really quite lovely. Try a Winter Jasmine trained on an arbor or a trellis. It also makes a good ground cover, especially on a slope or hillside. If planted in the ground, it can sucker and spread, but it is easily pulled and potted up to share.
It thrives in a variety of growing situations from full to part sun, from wet to dry soils. I have never had to water mine even in the hottest of summers. They are pollution-tolerant and are generally not troubled by pests.
It is often mistaken for Forsythia, but there are several differences. The Winter Jasmine's stems are squarish, flexible, and deep green while the Forsythia's are round, brittle, and brown. Also, the Winter Jasmine blooms are a lighter yellow. Finally, Forsythia normally blooms later -- in mid-March here in our area.
Winter Jasmine is one of those care-free, background plants that shines in the worst of the gray winter season. It deserves a spot in your garden.
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