Gardenia plant and flower
Gardenia is a genus of shrubs or small trees belonging to the Madder family, Rubiaceae. Sixty species frow in the subtropics, most of them native to the astern Hemisphere. Gardenias have opposite leaves often arranged in threes. The large yellow or white flowers, noted for their waxy petals and sweet fragrance, grow in the axils of the branches. Some species are grown as hedges in southern United States; these bloom profusely from May to September. Gardenia thunbergia and Gardenia lucida, used extensively by florists in northern United States, are difficult to cultivate, requiring a hot, moist habitat with night temperatures of about 65°. Gardenias are propagated by cuttings, each of which has three to four buds. Their attractive blossoms are used in corsages, bouquets, and floral pieces.