There have been Gardenia plants around me much of my life. Dark shiny leaves… incredibly sweet fragrance… creamy white, smooth-as-satin petals… My parents had one when I was growing up. My grandparents had one. Friends have them. My next door neighbor has one planted alongside of my house. And my sister gave me this one as a house-warming present when I moved into my present home.
Gardenias are evergreen shrubs or small trees, also known as Cape Jasmine. Most people are familiar with the flowers’ strong sweet smell. They make an aromatic bouquet, hair ornament, corsage or boutonniere. The blossoms are also used as an ingredient in Korean mung bean jelly, called hwangpomuk; and the fruits are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
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