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Woody > Gardenia > Gardenia jasminoides > Gardenia jasminoides

Gardenia jasminoides

Cape Jasmine, Cape Jasmine Gardenia

Origin:  Southern China and Japan. (North Carolina Extension Gardener, n.d)
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


Gardenia jasminoides 'El Jazmin' only has winning points. Its glossy dark green leaves are the setting for a simple but stunning flower with a unique and characterized perfume. When in bloom, Cape Jasmine is a gift to the senses and provides a very generous, long and abundant summer flowering. However, it is still an attractive shrub with a lot of character when the flowering is over. I love to create arrangements with the flowers placed in a bowl or cup and floating subtly. - Ivana Andrea Pereyra

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Shrub (deciduous)
USDA Hardiness Zone
8 -10
Canadian Hardiness Zone
RHS Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
1 - 3 m
1 - 3 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Gardenia jasminoides, commonly called Cape Jasmine, is a large evergreen shrub with deep glossy green, elliptic leaves. Highly fragrant, broadly funnel-shaped white flowers 8 cm across in the summer and autumn. It has been in cultivation in China for at least a thousand years and was introduced to English gardens in the mid-18th century (The Royal Horticultural Society, n.d).
This shrub can be used as a hedge, border, mass planting and specimen (Missouri Botanical Garden, n.d). Although it is better to plant it where people will notice the fragrance, it can be intense for some. For this reason, Cape Jasmine should not be placed below bedroom windows or other such prominent locations (Dharmananda, 2003). In zones where winters are colder, they can be grown in pots or containers as houseplants and set outside for the warmer months. It also attracts bees, pollinators, and songbirds (North Carolina Extension Gardener, n.d).
As a tropical plant, it thrives best in warm temperatures and humid environments. When in non-tropical latitudes it is complex to get those conditions so, Cape Jasmine is usually cultivated indoors or in greenhouses. In warmer climates it can be grown outdoors. Either way, it prefers bright indirect sunlight or partial shade rather than direct sunlight. Apart from the difficulties in creating suitable conditions for the plant to live, Gardenias jasminoides need to be planted in acidic soil (it is an acidophile plant). It requires moist soil with good drainage and desirable growing median, pH between 4-6 (Tarek M.A. Soliman, 2013).
Round shrub, symmetrical with dense canopy (American University of Beirut -Plant Database).
ID Characteristic
Buds are pinwheel or spiral looking. Leaves are rugose and brilliant dark green; the arrangement is a whorl, with impressed veins. The white flower is extremely fragrant (North Carolina Extension Gardener, n.d).
Powdery mildew, canker, aphids, scale, mealybugs, whiteflies, thrips, mites, and nematodes require attention to keep it looking thrifty; white flies are particularly troublesome, sooty mold follows white fly feeding and blackens the leave and stems (Dirr, 2009).
Within China, its native habitat is forest and undergrowth along streams and on sloping and hilly terrain to an altitude of 1500 m (FOC - Flora of China, n.d).
Bark/Stem Description
The bark does not have a showy texture. Stems are green, moderate, turning brown, glabrous, pith-light green or whitish brown (Dirr, 2009).
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
The buds are pinwheel or spiral-looking.
Leaf Description
Leaves are opposite or whorled with dark emerald colour and are 5-10 cm in length. They have prominent pinnate veining, with whorled or opposite arrangement. Rugose, glossy and dark green above, lighter and duller below. Margin is entire; veins are impressed (North Carolina Extension Gardener, n.d).
Flower Description
Flowers are perfect, 6-7 petaled in single forms, multi-petals in doubles, waxy white, ageing to yellow, solitary, highly fragrant and 5-8 cm of diameter. Calyx lobes are subulate (Dirr, 2009).
Fruit Description
It has an orange-red freshly ovate of 2-4 cm long berry, with a 1-3 cm long, strap-shaped sepals. Carpel wall is six-winged (Dirr, 2009).
Colour Description
Leaves are glossy, dark green and hold good foliage colour through the winter. Flowers are white to cream and age to yellow. The fruit is orange-red.
Texture Description
It is a medium textured plant.
Notable Specimens
Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens,Savannah, Georgia, United States of America.
It will take 2-3 years to flower when grown from seed, but less than a year when grown from cuttings or air-layers. Cuttings can be rooted at most times of the year. Terminal leafy cuttings or midsection cuttings with wood 6-8 weeks old should be cut 10-15 cm long. Remove leaves from the lower half of the cutting, keeping two or three sets. Dip the base of the stem in a rooting hormone, following the directions for the hormone. Stick the base of the cutting about 2-5 cm deep into a moist rooting medium and firm the medium around the base (Kobayashi & Kaufman, 2006).
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
The yellow dye extracted from the fruit is used to dye food and clothes. Chinese herbal medicine uses Gardenia jasminoides's fruit for tea and infusions (North Carolina Extension Gardener, n.d). Cape Jasmine oil is a primary essential oil in aromatherapy (Health Benefits Times, n.d).
Dirr, M. A. (2009). Manual of Woody Landscape Plants (Vol. Sixt). Athens, Georgia, United States: Stipes Publishing L.L.C. Gilman, E. F. (1999, October). University of Florida, Environmental Horticulture. Retrieved from University of Florida, Environmental Horticulture: