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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Monday - May 29, 2006

From: Ocala, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Height of non-native gardenias
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

How tall does a gardenia tree get?

ANSWER:

I assume you mean the Common gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides). It is a native of China and Japan introduced to North America as an ornamental. Its maximum height is 5-6 feet. It has a dwarf cultivar that reaches only 2-3 feet. There are also African Gardenia trees such as Gardenia thunbergia that reaches 16 feet and Gardenia volkensii, 26 feet. Hawaii has an endangered Gardenia (Gardenia brighamii), 20 feet, as well as several other species of Gardenia. In fact, there are some 250 species of Gardenia from Africa, Asia, Australasia and Oceania. There are no North American native Gardenias.
 

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