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ative elliptic Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Gardenia, Cape jasmine • Assamese: গন্ধৰাজ Gandhraj • Bengali: গংধৰাজ Gandhraj • Hindi: Gandhraj गंधराज • Manipuri: ꯀꯕꯣꯛꯂꯩ Kaboklei • Urdu: ﮔﹹﻠﭽﺎﻧﺪ Gulchand • Marathi: Gandroya • Kannada: Suvasane malle • Nepali: इन्द्र कमल Indra Kamal , थल कमल Thal Kamal
Botanical name: Gardenia jasminoides    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)
Synonyms: Gardenia augusta, Gardenia florida, Mussaenda chinensis

Gardenias are beautiful, shrubby evergreen houseplants well loved for their creamy, fragrant blooms. The shrub that can grow 6-8 ft high with almost equal spread. The leaves are elliptic-oblong, glossy and leathery. Mature shrubs usually look round, and have a medium texture. It blooms in mid-spring to early summer over a fairly long season. The flowers are white, turning to creamy yellow as they age, and have a waxy feel. They are double in form, and can grow as large as 10 cm across. They have a powerful, sweet fragrance, and can perfume an entire room. Gardenia is native to Japan, China and Eastern Himalaya. Gardenia is very common in cultivation, but in its wild form it is found in thickets and forests at streamsides, on mountain slopes or hills, or in valleys or fields, from near sea level to 1500 m elevations.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Lodhi Garden, Delhi.

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