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Posted by hopefulauthor z5IL (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 22, 08 at 14:06

Happy Spring...
I've a question or two or three about this plant.
Bought a baby Tabernaemontana 9/07...It's 7-8" tall, living in a 4" plastic pot, kept a few feet from a south window, some east, and a few hours of artificial light.

Does anyone know what family it belongs to? I checked on desert-tropicals, they label its common name as Carnation of India, AND Crepe Jasmine.

I was led to believe, when purchased, it was in the Gardenia family, but don't know if this is correct.

It's growing pattern is downright odd..The trunk, a whole 2" V's off..two branches (V-shaped) grow from the truck..One branch, the taller, has 3 and a sprout leaves..the second branch has, what looks like flower buds..can't determine color or scent, if any, since buds are closed. Second branch has about 26 buds..?????

Anyway, is the Tabern in the Gardenia, Jasmine or some other family?
What type of care is needed, and is it slow-growing?
When and what type of fertilizer is needed? Full or bright sun? or less? What about fertilzer? Which kind? Flowering, foliage or something totally different? Oh, and if it lives, how tall will it grow?

I'd appreciate help. I really want this plant to make it..
If anyone here grows, has grown, or simply knows the best way to care for the Tabern, please let me know..Thanks, Toni

P.S. Checked my 2007 plant journal..Common name the nursery used was Butterfly Gardenia...

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tabernaemontana?

Hi Toni,

I can't say I know anything about this plant, I've never heard of it till just now.

But here is a link I found on yahoo under the Missouri Botanical Gardens website. Here is the link...

I'm sure others will add more info for you, good luck, it's a pretty plant!

Here is a link that might be useful: Amsonia tabernaemontana 'Montana'

RE: Tabernaemontana?

Hey Pug, how are you? Happy Easter..
Thanks for the site, but oddly enough, my Taber looks nothing like the one displayed..LOL..
Also, I think now, not sure, info provided from the nursery this plant was purchased claimed it grows white, fragrant flowers??? Strange..
Have u or anyone else ever heard of African Gardenia? I think Logees sells them..When I bought this plant (Not from Logees) I assumed it was the same plant sold at Logees..LOL. I know, never assume..
Hopefully, I'll find out soon enough, since buds should soon open..I HOPE..LOL..Thanks for checking, Toni

RE: Tabernaemontana?

Hi Toni,

I'm great thanks for asking. I hope your doing great as well. Happy Easter to you...

Toni, I have never heard of African Gardenia, so I did a search on Google and I came up with a link below. Remarkably enough it looks very similar to my Arabica Coffee Plant, even the leaves looks a little like it ( I know it's not the same) just saying it is "similar" even the star flower. What do you think? I posted a pic of the only flower I got for the very first time since I had this plant.

Off topic, but I have some blooms on my 2 gardenias, "IF" they bloom? I will post some pics here. Keep your fingers crossed for me. LOL...I need all the help I can get!

Good luck with this plant you're trying to get info on.

Here is a link that might be useful: African Gardenia

RE: Tabernaemontana?

Try checking tabernaemontana divaricata...........

RE: Tabernaemontana?

Toni, I've grown the Tabers for over 25 years down here in Florida.
The one you have goes by several names -
Florida gardenia, crepe jasmine, butterfly jasmine, penne flora etc.
They are a large shrub.
They can grow to 8'+ here,
but I would venture to say yours could grow to 4-5'.
They take full sun to filtered light.
Set it outside when your temp stay above 50.
It should start blooming continously
when the temps reach an average of 75 degrees.
Feed it a good 3 month time release fertilizer.
On the fragrance - It really doesn't have one..................cheryl

RE: Tabernaemontana?

  • Posted by jimshy z7 Brooklyn, NY (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 26, 08 at 10:57

Tabernaemontana is in the Apocyanaceae (the Dogbane family), along with stuff like Oleanders, Mandevillas, and Plumerias; they all have a similar pinwheel kind of shape to the flower. Crepe jasmine's a common name from the delicate texture of the flowers, and anything that's white and scented gets called a jasmine sooner or later . . .

Gardenias (and coffee) are in the Rubiaceae, so the resemblance is in appearance, not blood kin (or is that sap kin?)

Amsonia is a perennial from a totally different family that happens to have the same last name.

Family's always confusing, ain't it?

Regarding fragrance, I got a soft, faint fragrance from mine, sometimes in sunlight, sometimes in the evening, but it's nothing like true gardenia; the advantages are tabs look gorgeous in bloom and are easier to flower and keep alive than gard&*^%%ias!

Some recommend mitrostigma axillare, called African Gardenia (because, surprise, surprise! it's from Africa) for frustrated gardenia growers; it's much easier to grow and bloom, but the flowers are much smaller and less dramatic, and the scent not as sweet -- I kinda sorta liked it, but found it more interesting than attractive. Your mileage may vary.

Toni, yes, it does do the V branching thing; it responds well to pruning, so just snip off wherever you don't want it to grow, and enjoy the flowers!


RE: Tabernaemontana?

Thanks everyone..I have to start clicking 'send email' when a post comes in..
My plants is Tabernaemontana daviricats, or Butterfly Gardenia..
I wanted to get an African Gardenia, botanical name, Mitriostigma axillare..
Oh yes, come summer, all flowering plants go outdoors to enjoy sun, humidity and fresh air. Can't wait, getting cabin fever..
You ppl are so lucky being able to plant these precious plants outdoors year round.
Anyway, does anyone know which fertilizer is best for the Taber? or Butterfly Gardenia? I don't know if it needs acidic or flowering fert..what it needs is more in IL, summers are short..

Pug, let's say things could be a whole lot better..Thank God for plants and pets..Toni

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