Gardenia jasminoides
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Ixoroideae
Tribe: Gardenieae[1]
Genus: Gardenia

See text.

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.[2]

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.


  • Species 1
  • Cultivation and uses 2
  • Gallery 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


As of March 2014 The Plant List recognises 140 accepted species (including infraspecific names):[3]

Cultivation and uses

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)][3] during the day and 60 F (15-16 C) in the evening. Potting soils developed especially for gardenias are available. G. jasminoides grows no larger than 18 inches in height and width when grown indoors. In climates where it can be grown outdoors, it can attain a height of 6 feet. If water touches the flowers, they will turn brown.[4]

In China and Japan, Gardenia jasminoides is called zhīzi (栀子) and kuchinashi (梔), respectively. Its blossom is used as a yellow dye, used on fabric and food (including the Korean mung bean jelly called hwangpomuk). Its fruits are also used in traditional Chinese medicine for their clearing, calming, and cooling properties.[5]

In France, gardenias are the flower traditionally worn by men as boutonnière when in evening dress. In The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton suggests it was customary for upper-class men from New York City to wear a gardenia on their buttonhole during the Gilded Age.[6]

Sigmund Freud remarked to the poet H.D. that gardenias were his favorite flower.[7]

It is the national flower of Pakistan.

Several species occur on Hawaii, where gardenias are known as naʻu or nānū.

Crocetin is a chemical compound usually obtained from Crocus sativus, which can also be obtained from the fruit of Gardenia jasminoides.[8]


See also


  1. ^ "Gardenia"Genus . Taxonomy. UniProt. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  2. ^ Ellis, John (1759). [4] "An Account of the Plants Halesia and Gardenia: In a Letter from John Ellis, Esq; F. R. S. to Philip Carteret Webb, Esq; F. R. S." Phil Trans R Soc 1759 51: 929-935.
  3. ^ "Gardenia".  
  4. ^ Reader's Digest. Success with House Plants. The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. New York/Montreal. 217
  5. ^
  6. ^ Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence, Wordsworth Classic, 1999, p. 4
  7. ^ H.D. (Hilda Doolittle). "Tribute to Freud." New Directions, Boston 1974 p11
  8. ^ Yamauchi, M; Tsuruma, K; Imai, S; Nakanishi, T; Umigai, N; Shimazawa, M; Hara, H (2011). "Crocetin prevents retinal degeneration induced by oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stresses via inhibition of caspase activity". European Journal of Pharmacology 650 (1): 110–9.  

External links

  • World Checklist of Rubiaceae