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Any of the approximately 200 species of ornamental shrubs and trees in the genus Gardenia, in the madder family, native to tropical and subtropical Africa and Asia. Gardenias have white or yellow tubular flowers, evergreen leaves, and large, berrylike fruits containing a sticky, orange pulp. Cape jasmine (G. jasminoides), native to China, is the fragrant species sold by florists.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on gardenia, visit Britannica.com.