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Gardenia nitida - Tubular Flowered Gardenia

Today I welcomed 3 Gardenia nitida plants to my gardenia collection. My other 22 gardenias are all the more common Gardenia jasminoides cultivars. G. nitida, as the binomial nomenclature indicates, is a separate species. Its common name is tubular flowered gardenia and it is native to regions in West Central Africa. With floppy, elegant petals that resemble ears on a lop bunny, it is said to be a now rare gardenia with a stunning fragrance that changes from day to night. The advantage in adding this species to the garden is, as always, encouraging biodiversity through polyculture. Cultivation often breeds fragrance and resilience out of plants in the service of a particular look. In the case of Gardenia jasminoides, this look has come to mean double and triple blossomed, and larger flowers. Like with animals, breeding for a particular trait reduces genetic diversity and ultimately can cause health problems for individual specimen. Gardenia jasminoides is notoriously finicky, susceptible to many pests, but I still love it.
© 2021, Abby Hinsman for Wild Veil Perfume.