AskDefine | Define gardenia

Dictionary Definition

gardenia n : any of various shrubs and small trees of the genus Gardenia having large fragrant white or yellow flowers

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Any of various tropical evergreen small trees or shrubs, of the genus Gardenia, having glossy leaves and white flowers
  2. The flower of these plants

See also

Extensive Definition

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 梔子); the bloom is used as a yellow dye, which is used for clothes and food (including the Korean mung bean jelly called hwangpomuk).

External links

See also

gardenia in Catalan: Gardènia
gardenia in German: Gardenien
gardenia in Modern Greek (1453-): Γαρδένια
gardenia in Spanish: Gardenia
gardenia in French: Gardénia
gardenia in Italian: Gardenia
gardenia in Polish: Gardenia (roślina)
gardenia in Portuguese: Gardenia
gardenia in Finnish: Keikarinkukat
gardenia in Swedish: Gardenior
gardenia in Turkish: Gardenya
gardenia in Vietnamese: Dành dành
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