Are these gardenias for real?

tropical_philippinesJune 30, 2008

From where I came from, I have never seen a gardenia with genuine, non-white flowers. (Have seen lots of fake, dyed ones though.) The flowers either come as pure white, off-white, creamy white, etc., but it's always white.

Searching for 'gardenias' of other colors gave me 'surprising' results... Are these for real or were they dyed pink, yellow and orange (or were they mislabelled or photoedited)?

1) Gardenia (white and pink)

2) Pink Gardenia

3) 29100415 Gardenia

4) Gardenia tubifera var. kula

5) Burnt Edged Yellowed Gardenia


1) Gardenia (white and pink)

2) Pink Gardenia

3) 29100415 Gardenia

4) Gardenia tubifera var. kula

5) Burnt Edged Yellowed Gardenia

6) Orange Gardenia

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snasxs(7-8 VA)

The first several are Camellia and Peony. Those are not Gardenia.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 11:49PM
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longriver(SF Bay Area)

I am not all sure they are the yellow ones. The white gardenia flower under stress or a few days old after bloom will produce yellowish tone. If we look hard on white flower, it is not totally white. The white might have some carotene element blended in.

There is also possibility that a few years or a few thousands years later, gardenia would produce a mutation of true yellow flower just like Osmanthus.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 10:59AM
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jeelli(5/6 CT)

Hi Tropical!
I recognize photo number four- Gardenia Tubifera. I have one that I bought from Logee's last year. The flowers darken as they age- from yellow to almost orange. I had one called Gardenia Carinata that was very similar.
My Gardenia Veitchii also age from white to that yellowy creamy color, much like photo number five.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 11:23AM
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longriver(SF Bay Area)

Here are aged and fresh gardenia flowers side by side on the same bush.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 7:29PM
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Hello longriver - is that G. White Gem? I had one similar...once upon a time.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 10:06PM
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Ok. I agree with you that most gardenias (like my gardenia jasminoides) do turn somewhat yellowish white when aged.

I am interested however on truly 'colored' gardenias. Those that are colored yellow, orange, pink, red or lavender when they are fully open in the peak of their beauty and not when they are already wilting, aging, or dying.

Anybody out here has that 'truly' colored gardenia that I'm talking about? Do post photos/links and the scientific name if so.

It would really be a breakthrough if someone successfully breeds 'colored' gardenias (especially the 'multiple' petal ones like the jasminoides).

If that happens (a color assortment similar to those you find in roses), I think 'gardenia' will become the national flower of the U. S. instead of roses. :) Roses by then won't stand a single chance: beauty, assortment of colors and sheer number of flowers, non-stop bloom, exotic fragrance, lush, shiny, dark green foilage that never gets 'bald' with blackspot, and ease of cultivation (no powdery mildew, blackspot, soil nematodes, bright light requirements, etc.) and absolutely no thorns! ('Thornless' roses are really mediocre compared to the truly 'thorny' ones.) (No offense meant to rose lovers... I also love roses but they just seem so 'finicky' despite our 365 days-a-year 'no frost', 'no chill', 'all sunshine' tropical climate. Gardenias perform a lot better. Just water when dry, and they bloom like crazy and grow like weeds all year long [at least in our 2-season climate].)

By the way, here's a trick I learned from vendors in my country who sell rooted gardenias in bloom (air layered):

Dip the roots of the rooted (air layered) gardenia cutting in a dye dissolved in water. After 24-48 hrs, the color of the gardenia flower will take on the hue/color of the dye solution. (Better if you still have a bud so that when it opens up, it will be beautifully colored already.)

The sidewalk vendors really fooled me on this one... I bought plenty of rooted (air layered) gardenia cuttings with assorted color blooms thinking they were 'genuine'.
From the 6-8 inch rooted cuttings they once were, they are now over 2 ft. tall and full of buds and blooms. (I was surprised why all of them turned out to have white flowers!)

As always, buyer beware especially when it's from a 'fly-by-night' sidewalk vendor.
(I bought the air-layered cuttings very cheap though. Ten pesos a piece or about $0.25 each at the current peso-dollar exchange rate]).



    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 10:24PM
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snasxs(7-8 VA)

IMHO, I love Gardenia to be pure white with that noble fragrance. If I love colored evergreens, I go for the lovely Camellias.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 11:04PM
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Does anyone happen to know what variety of flower that very first picture is? I absolutely love it...

Marcie K.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 4:27PM
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Marcie K.,

Flower #1 is actually a camellia, not a gardenia:

Camellia japonica ÂContessa Lavinia MaggiÂ



    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 10:53PM
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siliconmage(z5 NE)

#4 is real and available at a site that can not be mentioned here.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 5:04PM
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It would have been more productive to have contacted directly those who produced the photos you question.

Picture #4 is my own photograph and it is not photo-shopped. I do not photo-shop any of my images. A quick stroll through adjacent photos of this gardenia and the careful captions would have answered your question sufficiently.

If you had further doubts, an email directed to me through the hosting website would have cleared up the fact that this variety indeed opens white and within three days becomes bright orange. By day three it is by no means faded nor wilted. This is a commonly grown variety in gardens throughout the gardens in the Hawaiian archipelago and is referred to as 'kiele kula'. (I have not yet ascertained its precise taxonomic status)

As for true double yellow gardenias, they exist and are grown here in Hawai'i as well.

Other yellow species of Gardenia exist and are mostly south-east Asian species.

Some extra time with Google searches will open all sorts of doors in your quest.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rubiaceae - my set on

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 7:15PM
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Hi morabeza79,

Yes, I've seen the 'kula' gardenia just recently in a plant show here so I had no doubts that it indeed does change color. The fragrance is really strong and heavy. I think in some cultures, they are used as funeral flowers.

By the way, rather than individually asking each flickr user about their photos, I linked the flickr photo search results directly to this gardenweb thread for faster response and all-in-one convenience (only one page to view and keep track of).


    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 4:30AM
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For heaven's sake, I don't know why I even bother!

I fear you have missed the point entirely. If you are a person who truly desires to know if photos you find on any website, or such as those on in this case, are indeed real or falsified, why on earth would you avoid contacting the owner of images to find answers there first, from the source? Instead not only did you jump to conclusions, but you carried your incorrect assumptions over to GardenWeb where you might propagate them further.

Because Flickr tracks who uses and links to my work, I subsequently found your discussion and I attempted with good intent to enter it to help steer you in a more helpful direction.

Let us all be clear, I was never alerted to nor invited into your discussion by yourself in which my photographic honestly was put to question. I only decided to join when it came to my attention.

Why then on earth should I, and the authors of the other photographs in question, revolve in an orbit of which you have clearly placed yourself at the centre? I see it as entirely disingenuous that the veracity of my work should be based HERE where it is 'convenient' for you.

Many plant blogs all over the world in many languages link to my photos on a daily basis but they treat me with basic respect and in those cases I am always happy to share.

In contrast I must say that by avoiding contact with me before putting my integrity up for public debate is simply inconsiderate. Your response referring to making this thread an "all-in-one convenience" (clearly) for you, with no regard for authors such as myself is just plain selfish and bad manners!

I would have been keen for a good, fruitful and educational discussion beforehand, but you forfeited that opportunity by ignoring and treating my work and myself with less than most basic courtesy.

It is my request that you cease to link to any of my copyrighted works and that you also stop any defamation of my work and my person. I will pursue any abuse of the aforementioned by all legal means I see fit.

Jacob Knecht

Here is a link that might be useful: My Photographs

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 8:05AM
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Hi Jacob,

Sorry if I offended you in any way. The thread was NEVER meant to defame you or anybody for that matter.

The discussions here are really like informal or casual friendly conversations, asking what one gardener thinks of this plant or this nursery, etc. It's really just a plain friendly conversation, that's all.

There are actually threads warning fellow members of this or that nursery because of bad experience. Same with me here. I have bought several red, pink and green gardenias in the past so I warned fellow gardeners of this possibility.

Again, let me reiterate the INTENTION was to give guidance to fellow gardeners and to warn them of possibilities like this. IT WAS NEVER MY INTENTION TO DEFAME ANYONE OR ANYBODY. I am a good person and if you look at my other posts you can see I HAVE NEVER DEFAMED ANYBODY OR ANYONE. Defamation is never part of my intention or reason why I joined gardenweb. I'm sure the other posters who participated in this thread will agree that once in a while, we do get violent reactions and misunderstandings here in this forum.

Discussions like these are typical in the internet forums and most of them get really very informal. The posters usually don't post formally like when they are interviewed in national tv or a newspaper of national circulation. If these posts were to be publicized in national tv or national newspaper, then many here wouldn't offer friendly advice against this or that nursery anymore for fear they'll be sued for libel or slander.

Please interpret these posts as nothing but casual or friendly talk or conversation because they really are just that.

Again, let me reiterate they are not meant in any way to defame or offend you or anybody.

Take for instance this gardenweb thread which questions if apples can really grow in tropical countries.

The poster probably felt more comfortable raising it in a forum and soliciting for answers where she has already friends rather than asking the person directly through email. She may not feel comfortable to a one-on-one conversation.

The owner of the apple may be offended because of the thread questioning her ability to grow apples in a tropical climate. She may feel offended because she may interpret the thread as insinuating her blog as a 'fraud'. But really, it is not the intention of that post and it is the same with this thread.

I hope you understand things like this happen because of the nature of the internet and the gardenweb forum.

Let's get this thing behind us, ok?

Gardenweb administrator, if you are reading this thread, please delete this thread now including all photo links so there would be no more further controversies/misunderstandings, etc.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 9:49PM
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Yes, they exist, and you should be able to grow them in the Phillipines as the climate is very similar to Hawaii's (where I live). I have not seen or heard "var kula" until today, online. I believe it is a short cut, misnomer or lazines. I got mine from a local botanical garden. It does not originate here. It is from outside the country, but I for5got where (which is why I looked it up ;) It is a very large plant. Mine is upwards of 30 feet across and 20+ feet high. It blooms profusely 8-10x/ year, is almost constantly in bloom. It is a very fragrant plant. The flowers are tubular and about 3-4 inches long, 3 inches across. They are while when they open, turn cream color the next day and then orange. They last about 5 days on the bush and several days indoors (in a vase). It is a very rewarding plant to grow if you have ther space for it, I suspect they get bigger still. I planted mine in my side yard before I knew how big it got. It is in an are where the roots are crowded and it does not get enough light. I believe that if it were planted in open space it could get much larger. Mine is doing quite nicely, despite not being in the best location but I have not had much success propagating it despite trying many times ovcer many years at different stages of growth and in different media, with & without hormones... I like the plant enough that I will keep trying be3cause I want to bring it with me when we move. I was told it was a rare plant, though I believe it is rare here but not necessarily where it originates. It is not one I have seen anywhere else, but for 2 local Botanical gardens: acquired at the Foster garden annual plant sale, and I saw a specimen plant at Ho'omaulihia where they had it in their Pacific section. If I recall correctly, it originates in SE Asia (but I do not remember the details I was given at the time, circa 20 years ago).

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 12:59PM
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pic number 5 looks like gardenia golden magic.
I have a few and they really do bloom that colour.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 5:54PM
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