Gardenia is a genus of about 250 species of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, southern Asia, Australasia and Oceania.
The genus was named by Carl Linnaeus after Dr. Alexander Garden (1730-1791), Scottish-born American naturalist.
They are evergreen shrubs and small trees growing to 1-15 m tall. The leaves are opposite or in whorls of three or four, 5-50 cm long and 3-25 cm broad, dark green and glossy with a leathery texture. The flowers are solitary or in small clusters, white, or pale yellow, with a tubular-based corolla with 5-12 lobes (petals) from 5-12 cm diameter. Flowering is from about mid-spring to mid-summer and many species are strongly scented.
Cultivation and uses
Gardenia plants are prized for the strong sweet scent of their flowers, which can be very large in some species. Unfortunately, the strong scent can trigger headaches, asthma, or other reactions in sensitive individuals.
Gardenias have a reputation for being difficult to grow. Because they originated in warm humid tropical areas, they demand high humidity to thrive. They flourish in acidic soils with good drainage. Potting soils developed especially for gardenias are available.
In Japan and China, Gardenia augusta is called Kuchinashi (Japanese) and Zhi zi (Chinese); the bloom is used as a yellow dye, which is used for clothes and food
Gardenia jasminoides(Common Gardenia, Cape Jasmine or Cape Jessamine), fragrant flower growing in Vietnam, Southern China, Taiwan and Japan.
The bloom is used as a yellow dye, which is used for clothes and food.
Gardenia brighamii (also called Forest Gardenia or Hawaiian Gardenia) is a species of plant in the Rubiaceae family. It is endemic to the United States. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland. It is threatened by habitat loss.
Gardenia gummifera is a species of plant in the Rubiaceae family. It is endemic to India.
Gardenia mannii (also called Mann's Gardenia) is a species of plant in the Rubiaceae family. It is endemic to the United States. It is threatened by habitat loss.
Gardenia remyi (also called Remy's Gardenia) is a species of plant in the Rubiaceae family. It is a perennial tree endemic to the Hawaii. It is threatened by habitat loss.
Gardenia taitensis (also called Tiare Māori or Tahitian Gardenia) is a species of plant in the Rubiaceae family. It is the national flower of French Polynesia & the Cook Islands. The name Tahitian Gardenia is somewhat a misnomer because it is neither native nor naturalised in Tahiti. The first acceptable scientific name for the plant was based on Tahitian specimens collected by Dumont d'Urville in 1824. Hence the scientific name of Gardenia taitensis, and the English name of Tahitian Gardenia. It is interesting to note that it was also first collected in Tahiti, by the Forsters on Captain Cook's first Pacific voyage (1768-1771), although it was mis-identified as Gardenia florida.
Native to the highland shores of the South Pacific, it has the distinction of being one of the few cultivated plants native to Polynesia. The intoxicating sweet fragrant blossoms are creamy white works of art. Large flowers 3" in diameter, large glossy oval leaves.
Gardenia thunbergia is a shrub or small tree found in forest or on forest margins, occurring in the Eastern Cape, Natal and Transkei in South Africa. Densely twiggy and rigid with smooth light-grey bark. The leaves are smooth, shiny, whorled and entire, and clustered at the ends of branchlets. The profusely-borne flowers are large, white, extremely fragrant and about 70mm in diameter with long tubes only accessible to the probosces of nocturnal hawkmoths. The fruits are hard, woody, and fibrous, about 80mm long and about 40mm in diameter, light-grey with small raised white spots and can persist on the tree for some years if not browsed by elephant or antelope.
Gardenia thunbergia was first introduced to Kew as early as 1773. It belongs to the very large family of Rubiaceae, which includes plants such as coffee (Coffea arabica), quinine (Cinchona) and numerous ornamental trees and shrubs with showy flowers.
Gardenia taitensis - Tiare maori
Gardenia brighamii - Hawaiian Gardenia
More Types of Flowers
The kumquats or cumquats are a group of small fruit-bearing trees in the genus Fortunella related to the Citrus in the flowering plant family Rutaceae, often segregated as a separate genus, Fortunella. The edible fruit (which is also called... more >>>
Daphne is a genus of between 50-95 species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs in the plant family Thymelaeaceae, native to Asia, Europe, and north Africa. They are noted for their scented flowers and poisonous berries. The flowers lack petals... more >>>
Echeveria is a large genus of succulents in the Crassulaceae family, native from Mexico to northwestern South America. The genus is named after the 18th century Mexican botanical artist, Atanasio Echeverría y Godoy. Many of the species... more >>>
Ballota (horehound) is a genus of about 35 species of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae, native to temperate regions of Europe, north Africa and western Asia, with the highest diversity in the Mediterranean region.
Echinops is a genus of about 120 species of thistles in the daisy family Asteraceae, commonly known as globe thistles. They are native to Europe east to central Asia and south to the mountains of tropical Africa.
Some... more >>>
Types of Flowers: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z