GARDENIA

Gardenia, genus, bushes from the Rubiáceae family. It owes its name to Alexander Garden, American doctor and naturalist of the XVIII century. It has about two hundred species native from tropical and subtropical countries. They are widely breaded under greenhouse because of their beautiful and fragrant flowers. There are some species rough enough to survive in the open air, in warm summer regions. They are reproduced by cuttings. Flowers are usually white, with a tubular calix that opens from the top), with a tube much longer than its opened portion. Fruit is a big berry, in several species it contains ?-crocetine, a crystalline compound used to colour silk in yellow.

Cape Town jasmine is one of the most appreciated gardenia species. It’s a Chinese bush that reaches 1.5 mt height, with white, waxy and very fragrant flowers. There are two important greenhouse-bush species; one of them forms white, long, tubular flowers; the other forms short tubular flowers, coloured in pale yellow with purple stains. In South America gardenia wood, which is quite hard, is used for making tools for agriculture. There is a Japanese short specie, of about 50 cm. height, grown as an indoor plant.

Scientific classification: gardenias belong to the Rubiaceae family. Cape Town jasmine is named Gardenia jasminoides. The two Greenhouse-bush species are named Gardenia thunbergia and Gardenia rothmannia. Short Japanese specie is known as Gardenia radicans floreplana.