Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gardenia Fruit

A few days ago Plant Delights Nursery posted a picture of gardenia fruits on their Facebook page.  In spite of having gardenias for many years, I had never seen, or even considered, fruits!  I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that.  But, I had only one shrub, Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty'; it is on a shady side of the house beside the air-conditioning unit, planted there by previous owners; I rarely walked by it.

Gardenia 'Frostproof'

Last year we added seven Gardenia jasminoides 'Frostproof' in a more prominent area at the edge of our patio.  Prompted by the Plant Delights post, I went outside to inspect my plants, and what do you know? -- bright yellow fruits!

The gardenia is already a fabulous shrub without this added bonus of fall fruits.  It's evergreen, with glossy, dark green leaves.  The flowers are pristine white with fleshy, intensely scented, (edible!) petals.  But, one variety, 'Grif's Select', has been especially selected for the heavy red seed capsules that show up in fall.  That shrub I will have to see -- it might just be the perfect southern garden plant!

As I poked around 'August Beauty' I found bright orange fruit! The blackened remnants of summer flowers are still attached.  Furrowed ovaries make me wonder if this cultivar is sterile, or if the seeds just haven't developed yet.  Even undeveloped, the bright orange is quite noticeable.

How in the world could I have missed them all these years?


  1. Very informative. I didn't know they made fruit either. It is really pretty!

  2. i think they're pretty, too, karin. i love the green extensions...not sure if those are sepals or something else, but they add to the intrigue.

  3. If it weren't so cold, I'd go out there with a flashlight to see if I could find these things.