Gardenia - Encyclopedia




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GARDENIA, in botany, a genus of the natural order Rubiaceae, containing about sixty species of evergreen trees and shrubs, natives of the warmer parts of the old world. Several are grown in stoves or greenhouses for their handsome, sweet-scented white flowers. The flowers are developed singly at the end of a branch or in the leaf-axils, and are funnelor salver-shaped with a long tube. The double forms of Gardenia florida (a native of China) and G. radicans (a native of Japan) are amongst the most beautiful and highly perfumed of any in cultivation. Gardenias are grown chiefly for cut flowers, and are readily propagated by cuttings. They require plenty of heat and moisture in the growing season, and must be kept free from insects such as the mealy bug, green fly, red spider and scale-insect.

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