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in re "Asian jasmine," for Houston, TX

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  • fairly obvious, I suspect
    Lots of things are called jasmine based on fragrance--most are *extremely toxic* (only make jasmine tea with jasminum flowers if at all!!!), and are
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 28, 2002
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      Lots of things are called "jasmine" based on fragrance--most are
      *extremely toxic* (only make "jasmine" tea with jasminum flowers if at
      all!!!), and are members of the dogbane, milkweed, strychnine, and
      nightshade families. As a ground cover, "asian jasmine" probably
      refers to Trachelstemon (sp?) jasminoides or T. asiatica (or related),
      which are better known as Confederate jasmines (at least in FL). They
      are (dark) evergreen, tolerate sun or some shade, a few variegated
      forms exist, and have pinwheel-shape white or cream ~1 inch fragrant
      flowers (white-flowered T. jasminoides has what I'm guessing is
      "jasmine" fragrance; T. asiatica has broader, creamy petals with
      orangeish eyes and smells somewhat like cinnamon). They are dogbanes
      and highly toxic, but look handsome, smell wonderful, and are fairly
      tough (in the Deep South). Other "jasmines' (Jasminum, Cestrum,
      Mandevilla sauvis, Gelsimium sempervirens) really need to climb
      something. Confederate jasmine will twine if it can, but is happy as
      a groundcover also. The primary sunny groundcover in northern FL is
      that evil "two-finger" turfgrass (basically crabgrass w/ runners) that
      simply refuses to be killed and encourages nematode burdens lethal to
      everything I want to grow (figs, strawberries, gardenia, okra,
      tomatoes...). As a result, I can't make recommendations for sunny
      areas (except for "arid" sandhills--use the perfumy-fruited "gopher
      apple," Licania michauxii, or other native vegetation because you have
      little choice; maybe exotic succulents would succeed except that
      sandhills have acid soils). Dutch clover? Corsican Mint? Since FL is
      flat, I don't worry much about erosion, so I don't mind empty patches
      under trees, pending finding something useful to fill them with. (The
      feds went around in the 1930s and "solved" an erosion problem that
      didn't exist locally; the result: our forests and homes have been
      buried and killed by kudzu. Thanks, FDR.) If you don't mind tall
      "groundcovers," I'd recommend gingers for the live-oak-level
      (translation for y'all Yanks and Limeys: very dark, year-round) shady
      areas. Globba sp. and Zingiber miogi supposedly spread quickly. The
      Japanese eat Z. miogi flowers and new shoots (probably as a spice) and
      at least one ornamental,variagated form exists. Shade is also a good
      place for Cammelias (incl. tea, C. sinsensis).

      --Erik

      > Tom Hennen thennen@h...
      >
      > I need a recommendation for a good ground cover plant for a home
      > located on Galveston Bay south of Houston, Texas. It has been
      > suggested that I use "Asian Jasmine". I have very little
      knowledge
      > of gardening, let alone this specific plant. Please help!
      Thanks!
      >
      > Unknown wrote
      >
      > I have a large area planted with junipers for erosion control. My
      > problem is controlling the grass that grows within the plants.
      > Is there a way to stop the growth of grass and not damage the
      plants?

      Well, if all you wanted was erosion control, what's wrong with extra
      grass?
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