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Forest Gardenia

Gardenia thunbergia

White Gardenia, Wild Gardenia (Eng.), Witkatjiepiering, Buffelsbal, Kannetjieboom (Afr.)

A beautiful flowering small tree or shrub with white heavily perfumed flowers flowering throughout summer followed by decorative fruits. It attracts many insects. The fruit remain on the tree and seeds are dispersed by large browsers in nature like Elephants and buffalo. The roots are used in traditional medicine to treat skin diseases and for fever.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer, Autumn
Fruiting time
Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Cuttings are best taken in summer during the growing season. Harvest roots as needed.

Propagation

Seed
It is difficult to get the seeds from the hard fruit, but use a blunt tool to expose individual seeds. Wash and sow seeds in Spring or Autumn in well-draining sandy mix. Germination time 1-6months.
Cuttings
Take semi-hardwood cuttings and dip in rooting hormone powder.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
Wonderful scent, especcially at evenings, attracts butterflies and moths.
Hedge plant
Make a thick screen that can be closely planted to form a hedge.

Geography

Origin
South Africa, along the Eastern Coast from Grahastown to Kosi bay.
Natural climate
Evergreen coastal forests, woodland and bushveld

Environment

Light
Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Wet
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Medicinal
The roots are used in traditional medicine throughout Africa to treat skin diseases and treat fever.
Notes
Decorative flowering garden plant. Roots are used to treat skin diseases and for fever.

Personality

Family
Rubiaceae
Flower colour
White
Scent
Strong

Problems

Few pests and diseases.

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