Exotic and beautiful, gardenias are evergreen shrubs and small trees that produce aromatic white flowers. The leaves of gardenia shrubs are dark green and waxy or leathery, appearing opposite each other or in swirls of three or four. The flowers grow in small clusters, white or pale yellow and fragrant with petals that unfold, similar to the unfolding of a rose. Part of the coffee family, these shrubs and trees grow between two and eight feet tall and wide. Gardenias flower from roughly mid-spring to mid-summer, delivering their beautiful fragrance to the surrounding areas.
Swedish Botanist Carl Linnaeus named gardenia after Dr. Alexander Garden, a Scottish doctor and recreational botanist who lived during the 1700's. Said to be a symbol of feminine grace, the Victorian language of flowers cites presenting someone with a gardenia as saying you are lovely." The soft petals and delicate beauty of this flower make it easy to fall in love with every element of its blossom and foliage.