Flowers elude romanticism…
And this flower, especially, has a mysteriousness and elegance that entices me and alights my imagination. I think about its long life dating back to its known origin from the Song Dynasty of 960-1279 AD. Crazy! To me, there is so much history and romance, which conjures all sorts of mysterious questions of its existence. This flower’s origins allow me to let go of my “to do list” and let my imagination fly.
points of interest
A medium to large shrub or small tree with elliptical, glossy, deep-green leaves arranged in whorls of 3. From summer to autumn, strongly fragrant, ivory-white flowers appear singly or in clusters. Flowers have 5-12 lobes and are salverform (base of petals are fused). Gardenia fruit has calming qualities and is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Prefers neutral to acidic, fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil. Situate in partial light with moderate humidity. Water freely during growth and apply balanced fertilizer every 4 weeks. Useful in a shrub border or in containers. In cooler climates, grow in a glasshouse.
friday’s flower fact
Sigmund Freud’s favorite flower and the national flower of Pakistan, gardenia is often used as boutonniere for special occasions.
Botanical Name | Gardenia augusta
Family | Rubiaceae
Type | Broadleaf evergreen shrub
Origin | China, Taiwan, Japan
Zone | 9
Flower Height | 6’-40’
Flower Diameter | 3”
New York Botanical Garden
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