Gardenia is a genus of 142 species of flowering plants in the coffee family, Rubiaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, southern Asia, Australasia and Oceania. The genus was named by Carl Linnaeus after Dr. Alexander Garden (1730-1791), a Scottish-born American naturalist. They are evergreen shrubs and small trees growing to 115 metres (3.349 ft) tall. The leaves are opposite or in whorls of three or four, 550 centimetres (2.020 in) long and 325 centimetres (1.29.8 in) broad, dark green and glossy with a leathery texture. The flowers are solitary or in small clusters, white, or pale yellow, with a tubular-based corolla with 5-12 lobes (petals) from 512 centimetres (2.04.7 in) diameter. Flowering is from about mid-spring to mid-summer and many species are strongly scented. Gardenia plants are prized for the strong sweet scent of their flowers, which can be very large in size in some species. Gardenia jasminoides (syn. G. grandiflora, G.
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