Tabernaemontana africana, Samoan Gardenia

Tabernaemontana africana

Samoan Gardenia
Family: Apocynaceae
Origin: Tropical West Africa, Senegal to Ghana
USDA Zone: 10-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallRegular waterWhite, off-white flowersPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirdsFragrant plant

Tabernaemontana africana (Samoan Gardenia) is a tropical shrub that grows best in warm regions with temperatures above 55°F and prefers partial shade, but can tolerate full sun in the right conditions.

The intoxicating sweet fragrant creamy white blossoms are pinwheel shaped .The plant blooms almost all year and has a wonderful spicy fragrance that carries a good distance both day and night, unlike many other white blooming plants, which are only fragrant at night. Blooming can be heavy or light depending on the bloom cycle. Flowers with 5 petals average 4 inches across and stand out nicely against the dark-green foliage

Provide the shrub with a regular watering schedule and be careful not to let the soil remain too wet. The shrub is popular with local wildlife, attracting butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. When caring for your Samoan Gardenia, annual pruning and fertilization will keep the plant looking healthy and encourage blooming. Take care not to over-fertilize to avoid burning the foliage. In colder climates, Samoan Gardenia can be grown in a container indoors when temperatures drop below 50F, or moved to a sheltered patio for the winter. Make sure to provide the plant with bright light and direct sun, as well as regular watering to replicate the tropical environment.

This species very often mis-called as Tabernaemontana holstii , but according to taxonomic revision of Dr. Leeuwenberger (1988), Tabernaemontana holstii is actually a synonym of Tabernaemontana pachysiphon, close related species with larger leaves.

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