Gardenia jasminoides (*)
Gardenia jasminoides J.Ellis, 1761
* Philosophical Transactions: Giving Some Account of the Present Undertakings, Studies, and Labours of the Ingenious in Many Parts of the World. London 51:935, t. 23. 1761
Gardenia jasminoides (also known as Gardenia augusta) is a fragrant flowering evergreen tropical plant, a favorite in gardens worldwide. It originated in Asia and is most commonly found growing in Vietnam, Southern China, Taiwan, Japan and india. With its shiny green leaves and fragrant white summer flowers, it is widely used in gardens in warm temperate and subtropical climates. It has been in cultivation in China for at least a thousand years, and was introduced to English gardens in the mid 18th century. Many varieties have been bred for horticulture, with low growing, and large- and long flowering forms.
Gardenia jasminoides was described by English botanist John Ellis in 1761, after it had been conveyed to England in the 1750s. It gained its association with the name jasmine as the botanist and artist Georg Dionysius Ehret had depicted it and queried whether it was a jasmine as the flowers resembled the latter plant. The name stuck and lived on the old common name and scientific epithet. The name G. augusta of Linnaeus has been ruled invalid.
Common names include Cape Jasmine or Cape Jessamine, derived from the earlier belief that the flower originated in Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. It is known locally as Zhizi 梔子 in China, Kuchinashi in Japan, and Tiare Teina in the Cook Islands
Gardenia jasminoides is a shrub with greyish bark and dark green shiny leaves with prominent veins. The white flowers bloom in spring and summer and are highly fragrant. They are followed by small oval fruit.
Evidence of Gardenia jasminoides in cultivation in China dates to the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD), where both wild and double-flowered forms have been depicted in paintings, such as those of the Song Emperor Huizong, and the Tenh century artist Xu Xi. The Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) saw it on lacquerware, and the Ming Dynasty on porcelain (1368–1644). Gardenias were seen in nurseries in Guangzhou in 1794 by English statesman Sir John Barrow.
Meanwhile, was first propagated in England in August 1757 by a James Gordon of Mile End, and sold well thereafter.
It is widely used as a garden plant in warm temperate and subtropical gardens. It can be used as a hedge. It requires good drainage and a sunny location, and prefers a mildly acidic soil. Many cultivars have been developed. G. 'Radicans' is a low-growing groundcover which reaches 15–45 cm (6-18 in) and spreads up to a metre wide, while G. 'Fortuniana' and G. 'Mystery' are double-flowered cultivars. The former was sent by Scottish botanist Robert Fortune in 1844 to the Royal Horticultural Society in London. G. 'Aimee' is an early-flowering (spring) form. Cultivars such as G. 'Shooting Star' and G. 'Chuck Hayes' are more cold-hardy, roughly to zone 7.
A new hybrid Gardenia called Summer Snow is a hardier breed with a greater resistance to cold climates. The Summer Snow Gardenia flourishes in zones 6-10.  Summer Snow has larger beautiful double blooms than a typical G. jasminoides which are ideal for cut flowers. 
The fruit is used as a yellow dye, which is used for clothes and food (including the Korean mung bean jelly called hwangpomuk).
Polynesian people in the pacific islands use these extremely fragrant blooms in their flower necklaces, which are called Ei in the Cook Islands, Hei in French Polynesia and Lei in Hawai'i
Gardenia jasminoides fructus (fruit) is used within Traditional Chinese Medicine to "drain fire" and thereby treat certain febrile conditions.
1. ^ a b c d Foster, Steven; Yue, Chongxi (1992). Herbal emissaries: bringing Chinese herbs to the West : a Guide to Gardening, Herbal Wisdom, and Well-Being. Healing Arts Press. pp. 185. ISBN 0-89281-349-0.
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