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Gardenia thunbergia, Gardenia verticillata, Gardenia speciosa, White Gardenia, Forest Gardenia, Wild Gardenia

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Gardenia thunbergia, Gardenia verticillata, Gardenia speciosa
Family: Rubiaceae
White Gardenia, Forest Gardenia, Wild Gardenia
Origin: South Africa
Can be used for bonsaiLarge shrub 5-10 ftSmall shrub 2-5 ftFull sunSemi-shadeRegular waterModerate waterWhite/off-white flowersFragrantAttracts butterflies, hummingbirdsSubtropical, cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

The flowers are large, showy, creamy white and heavily perfumed, particularly at night. They open from elegantly furled creamy-green buds. The corolla is a tube with 8 large lobes. The fruits are hard and woody, and heavily fibrous inside, and can remain on the bush for years. Each fruit is egg-shaped, grayish green, when mature roughly dotted with whitish encrustations. Easy to grow, although it is slow-growing. It does best in slightly acid, light, well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter added and regular deep watering. Mulch thickly and regularly. It may need to be pruned to keep it shapely, or in scale with its container. Pruning should be done after flowering or just before the new growth appears. Although it is moderately drought tolerant, drought stress can cause buds to fall before opening. Gardenia thunbergia tolerates a winter minimum 25-30F although young plants will require protection from frost. It looks good as a specimen plant on a lawn, or as part of an informal hedge or shrubbery, or planted beside a pond or a stream. It also makes a good pot plant in a large container, its pale gray bark and angular shape making it an interesting form plant, while the flowers perfume the air. This gardenia is used as a root stock for grafted hybrid varieties thanks to its hardiness and tolerance to wide range of soil and climate conditions. It is also suitable for bonsai. Read more about gardenias.

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