Gardenia thunbergia is a sturdy shrub or small tree (to 6-10’ Feet) that grows largely in forest or on forest margins. A specimen plant, striking in appearance and long-lived.
The abundant and extremely fragrant saucer shaped flowers are about 3-4” inches in diameter. Will scent a whole greenhouse when in bloom. The leaves are smooth, shiny, and about 6” inches long. The fruit is oval, hard, woody and fibrous, will remain on the tree for years. Full sun is best, good soil doesn’t hurt, regular feeding, especially while young, and a nice layer of mulch is also a good idea. Plant is considered critically endangered. Zone 8B+ , container or Bonsai.
Its common names include Wild Starry Gardenia, Mutarara, Tree Gardenia and Wild Gardenia, Buffelsbol, Stompdoring, Wildekatjiepiering.