Each gardenia is a single white bloom about 3-4 inches across and surrounded by dark green leaves. They are extremely fragrant, and the petals bruise very easily. Quite expensive. Available in spring and summer.
The shrubs and trees known as gardenias form the genus Gardenia and are prized for their fragrant, waxlike flowers of white or yellow. Some 200 species are all native to warm parts of the Old World, notably China, India, and South Africa. The most widely cultivated species is the Cape jasmine, native to China. Its large, berrylike fruits contain a sticky orange pulp, which is the source of a yellow dye used mainly in Asia.Gardenias are named for Dr. Alexander Garden (1730-91), a noted naturalist and physician of Charleston, S.C., who first described the genus Gardenia. Gardenias belong to the madder family, Rubiaceae
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