Gardenia

Description

Gardenia is a genus of flowering plants in the coffee family, Rubiaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, southern Asia, Australasia and Oceania.The genus was named by Carl Linnaeus and John Ellis after Dr. Alexander Garden (1730-1791), a Scottish-born American naturalist. They are evergreen shrubs and small trees growing to 1–15 metres (3.3–49.2 ft) tall. The leaves are opposite or in whorls of three or four, 5–50 centimetres (2.0–19.7 in) long and 3–25 centimetres (1.2–9.8 in) 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 centimetres (2.0–4.7 in) diameter. Flowering is from about mid-spring to mid-summer and many species are strongly scented.Gardenia plants are prized for the strong sweet scent of their flowers, which can be very large in size in some species.

Gardenia jasminoides (syn. G. grandiflora, G. Florida) is cultivated as a house plant. This species can be difficult to grow because it originated in warm humid tropical areas. It demands high humidity to thrive and bright (not direct) light. It flourishes in acidic soils with good drainage and thrives on [68-74 F temperatures (20-23 C).It is the national flower of Pakistan.

Several species occur on Hawaii, where gardenias are known as nau or nanu.Crocetin is a chemical compound found in gardenia fruit (Gardenia jasminoides Ellis). In high concentrations, it has protective effects against retinal damage in vitro. Gardenias appeal to whiteflies, scales, and mealybugs. Control outbreaks by applying a light horticultural oil such as Sunspray Ultra-Fine. If left untreated, severe infestations of these sucking insects can lead to a sooty mold buildup. This black mold does not really harm the plant but does slow down photosynthesis.Most all of these problems can be avoided by giving gardenias what they need.

Moist, acid, well-drained soil; morning sun and afternoon shade; good air circulation; and proper fertilization will make them happy. Share the joy of these plants with friends; they root easily and can be grown from seeds, making them great pass-alongs.With lustrous leaves, beautiful flowers, and a heavenly fragrance, gardenias are the perfect plants to grace the days of summer.

Gardenia as a floral has now been almost forgotten . Now is the time to reintroduce in fragrances and use its delightful odour.

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