Gardenia volkensii is a large shrub with interesting, rigid, branching patterns and shiny, bright green leaves. The large, white, sweetly scented, flowers are borne in profusion from July to Oct. The ribbed egg-shaped fruit are an added attraction to this beautiful small tree.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade and protect from frost when young. It is very water wise.
Ecology and Medicinal Uses of Gardenia volkensii
Fruit are eaten by monkeys, baboons, elephants and large antelope. Leaves are browsed by game, e.g. giraffe, kudu and impala.
Used medicinally as a cure for intestinal worms. Infusions of the fruit and roots are used to induce vomiting. The ash of burnt roots is rubbed into the chest to treat pneumonia, while headaches are treated by dripping an extract into the eyes or by placing a cold compress on the forehead. For earache an extract is dripped into the ear.
The wood is very hard and suitable for carving ornaments, and plants are also believed to protect against lightning or evil spirits. (Source: PlantzAfrica)
Landscape uses of Gardenia volkensii
Its slow growth and masses of fragrant white flowers makes it ideal for a small garden. It also grows well in a container on the patio adding interest for a very long period. It also makes a beautiful bonsai plant.