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“Thunberg’s gardenia”

The Gardenia thunbergia Thunb. (1780) is native to Mozambique and South Africa (Cape Provinces and Natal).

Shrub or evergreen small tree, tall up to about 5 metres, with whitish stems and virticillate leaves (3-4 per each knot), with wavy margins, with a usually ovate shape and of rather variable dimensions, up to about 15 cm of length and 6 of breadth, of a glossy intense green colour. The flowers, solitary and terminal, are intensely perfumed, about 10 cm wide, with 8-10 partially superposed petals, of a white colour tending to the cream yellow, on a corolla tube long up to about 12 cm. The fruits are woody and extremely hard, ovoid, 7-8 cm long, of greyish colour, persistent on the plant for long time, containing many flat and woody seeds. It reproduces by seed and cutting.

Much appreciated plant, in spite of its slow growth, due to its large perfumed flowers; can be cultivated in the tropical, subtropical and warm temperate areas, in full sun or partial shade, which temperatures which are not to go down under the -3 °C. The soil must be well drained and, although it prefers rich and rather acid grounds, is less particular than other plants of Gardenia, so much to be utilized at times as rootstock for these last ones. The roots and leaves are utilized in the original countries in the traditional medicine and the wood, particularly hard, for small handicrafts.

  • Category Flowering shrubs
  • Families Rubiaceae
  • Genus Gardenia
  • Species thunbergia
  • Geographical Area of Origin South Africa
  • Climatic Zones Mediterranean: South and islands, hills. USDA 10 a
  • Habit Shrub
  • Leaves Semi-evergreen
  • Colore Foglie Verde
  • Flowering Period September / August / July / June
  • Flower Simple flower
  • Colore Fiori Bianco
  • Favorite soil Middle-Dough / Medium soil / Neutral
  • Water needs Medium / Low / little water
  • Light Exposure Full light / Full sun / Medium shade / Half shade
  • Form Grown as shrub / bush
  • Colore Frutti Grigio
  • Parfumed yes
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