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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Glorious Gardenia

Is there any flower more fragrant than a Gardenia?
gardenia blooms
Our 2-year old gardenia plant has been delighting our senses with its intoxicating fragrance whenever we sit out on the front porch — especially on a windy day. (Ours bloomed later than one that blogger friend Ludwig (GA) posted about in Mid-May.)
gardenia collage0608
The fragrance is so intense that even a couple of blooms brought indoors and placed in water have been just as wonderful.
gardenia B&WThe genus was named by Carl Linnaeus after Dr. Alexander Garden (1730-1791), a Scottish-born American naturalist.Dr. Garden, a botanist, physician and zoologist, was born and educated in Scotland, but lived and practiced medicine for many years in Charleston, SC. He also collected and studied plants and specimens that he sent to John Ellis, a London zoologist and to the Swedish naturalist, Carl Linnaeus.

Linnaeus laid the foundations for the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature. This is the formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts which both use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages. gardenia bloom0610
Dr. Garden sent various magnolias and other specimens to London, and wrote descriptions of many more, but the plant named for him was not connected to those efforts. Linnaeus was urged to name a plant after Garden; Ellis persuaded him to use Gardenia for the Cape jasmine, also known as Cape jessamine.

gardenia0610 (2)
During the U.S. Revolutionary War, Dr. Garden sided with the British sending congratulations to Major General Charles Cornwallis after the Battle of Camden, SC (also called the Battle of Gum Swamp). Two years later, he had to leave SC and his property was confiscated. He moved to London and became vice-president of the Royal Society, the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. He died of tuberculosis in 1791.

There you have it, possibly more than you wanted (or needed) to know about how the Gardenia was named, but now you know too!.

10 comments:

Doris said...

Beautiful! Wish I could sniff!

Don't unplug your hub. said...

It is always nice to learn interesting things. Now if anyone asks me about Gardenias I shall be able to sound knowledgeable.

Maple Lane said...

We enjoy a previous owner's gardenia in May and the scent is fabulous from anywhere in the yard! Your photos are just superb - and I enjoyed the info, too.

Lois Evensen said...

Very interesting. I learn so much out here in blog land. I didn't know about the naming of the gardenia before reading your blog. :)

Country Gal said...

Great info ! Wonderful photos ! Have a good day !

Daisy said...

Beautiful photos! The Gardenia was one of my Mom's favorites.

Mellodee said...

When we lived in California we had a very small, very manageable yard that had been planted by the previous owners. I am not good with plants, but I have found sometimes if I just leave them mostly alone, they last a good long time before I manage to kill them. Very close to our front door we had a gardenia, an azalea, and an blue hydrangea. I loved how beautiful the flowers were as well as the scent of the gardenia. I miss their beauty, but now I live in TX and we're in the middle of yet another drought. I probably won't ever have such a welcoming sight by my front door again. Too sad.

Sandra said...

never even thought about how it got its name, but now i know, learn something new every day. and i do love the smell of them and these photos are beautiful, love the swirly middles. i think i can smell them, to bad there is no blog scratch and sniff. i love honeysuckle to, which is pretty close to as sweet as they are.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Your garden looks fab and I wish mine were so organized. I will so be back to check out more flower pics!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Doris, blogger doesn't offer a "smell" too bad cause it is a wonderful scent.

John, glad to increase your knowledge base.

Thanks Mildred and hope you are doing well.

Thanks Elaine, compliments from fellow photographers are always nice!

Mellodee, thanks for sharing the story.

Sandra, lots of honeysuckle around here too and trumpet vines too.

Welcome Donna and thanks for the visit and comments. Check back anytime as flowers are a favorite topic.

Daisy, nice to hear it was your mom's favorite - Grenville's too.

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