The flowers of yellow star jasmine T. asiaticum are very similar to those of the Confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) but have a yellow star shape at the center. Click here to download a large (800x600) version of this image for a closer look at the yellow star.
The glossy, fine-textured foliage of yellow star jasmine is the plant's best asset. t's evergreen and can be sheared into dense groundcovers that are able to consume debris and leaf litter. This vine is often used in commercial landscapes, roadway plantings and large scale groundcovers as is seen in the photo of a planting on the grounds of the Florida State Capital.
Not a true jasmine, yellow star jasmine is a less familiar relative of another not-a-real-jasmine, the Confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides). This vine's slender stems form dense tangled mats when grown as ground cover.
The smooth stems are reddish brown and exude a milky liquid when broken. The small leathery leaves are glossy deep green and arranged in opposite pairs along the stems. Leaves are about 1-2 in (2.5-5 cm) long and about 0.5 in (1.3 cm) in width. The small pinwheel-shaped flowers are white aging to light yellow with with golden yellow star at the center. The plant's common name is inspired by the beautiful fragrance produced by the flowers that is similar to that of the true jasmine (species of the genus Jasminum, like Jasminum sambac for example).
As the species name indicates, Trachelospermum asiaticum is native to Asia, specifically Korea and Japan.
Prefers rich, well-drained soil but will succeed in most soils except those that are soggy. Has good salt tolerance and can be grown near, but not directly on, the beach. Light: Tolerates deep shade, but prefers moderately shady situations in hot summer climates. Can be grown in full sun if kept watered or temperatures are not extreme. When grown indoors, yellow star jasmine needs several hours of direct sunlight during winter. Moisture: Prefers moist, well drained soil but will tolerate less than ideal situations and can handle short periods of drought once established. Hardiness: USDA Zones 8 - 10. Said to be hardier than Confederate jasmine (but probably not by much), this vine doesn't like extended freezes and cold winter winds will desiccate and kill. Propagation: Easy to propagate by layers (stems root where they touch the ground) and cuttings.
Here yellow star jasmine is employed as a groundcover on a berm that separates roads and parking lots from pedestrian areas. The vine protects the berm from erosion and helps dampen road noise.
Yellow star jasmine is at its best as a groundcover. It is beloved by commercial landscapers for it's ability to form dense mats of attractive foliage that suppress weed growth. Often selected for use in difficult to maintain places with harsh environments such as traffic islands and urban plantings where they are often closely sheared (which looks great but prevents the vines from flowering). This vine also does well in containers and is very attractive in hanging baskets.
Yellow star jasmine is easy to propagate and easy to grow. While the flowers aren't so spectacular their spicy fragrance is a bonus of this useful and durable vine.