Tabernaemontana Africana

Discussion in 'COMPANION PLANTS - TROPICAL & SUBTROPICAL' started by kwtimo, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. kwtimo

    kwtimo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    586
    Location:
    key west, fl 10b-11
    Another one of my cherished scented plants is Tabernaemontana Africana, which is also synonymous for T. Holstii and T. Pachysyphon. I have also heard it called Samoan Gardenia. It is an amazing mid sized shrub that produces large 3 to 4 inch pure white blooms that perfume the air with their incredible vanilla spice scent. The blooms are pinwheel like and twisted, adding another dimension visually to an already gorgeous flower. The foliage is ovate and usually glossy green as long as they are getting the sun they want, leaves measuring around 3 to 4 inches as well. While these can live in shadier environments, I have seen them thrive and bloom regularly throughout the year if they are getting good amounts of direct to full sun. Occasional pruning or pinching is recommended to keep the shrub more full in its nature, but not to be done too frequently as to suppress the blooms. Other than an occasional aphid interest, I have not experienced much of any pest issues. Regular fertilizing and water will create for much happier plants too. Situate one near a sitting area, or on a walking path placed between some crotons to really pack a punch in the garden. Even the break of foliage and contrast in the pic here next to the Ae Ae banana gives an example of how they can make other plants really stand out. I first saw this plant at the Hawaiian Botanical Tropical Garden, and was on a mission to have one since. I have purchased a few from a grower in Hilo in 4 inch pots that were small to start, but they grew nicely once well rooted and put in a larger container. I have since found some South Florida sources for these, and they are much bigger to start than my 4 inchers. Lavaloie Hybrid 015.jpg Lavaloie Hybrid 012.jpg Lavaloie Hybrid 013.jpg Lavaloie Hybrid 019.jpg Lavaloie Hybrid 014.jpg Lavaloie Hybrid 016.jpg Mine are now in 7 gal containers, and I have one planted at a clients property. If you have a sunny spot in your piece of paradise, I would strongly suggest putting one of these in to perfume the air and and beautify your surroundings. DypsisDean, are you familiar with this one?
     
  2. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Finally one I know. :)

    And know it well. And it is one of my favorite fragrances - probably tied for first with Gardenia. I have three good sized one - about 5 feet. I am at 2200 ft elevation so i am in a borderline location, and they are a slower grower, but well worth it.

    I have another kind (don't know the name) that is a smaller bush, more flowers, and an easier grow.

    I'll try to remember to get some pics, because after looking close at your pics tomorrow, I'm not sure what I have.
     
  3. kwtimo

    kwtimo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    586
    Location:
    key west, fl 10b-11
    Dean, I thought you would be familiar with this one. Glad to hear that you share my affection for this plant. I have two more species of Tabernaemontana that I will gladly write posts on, I just need to wait until they are in bloom to take pics. They are innately different from each other, and serve varied purposes in the garden design. I am interested to see which Tabernaemontana you have that you were speaking of.
     
  4. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Here's the larger one I was speaking of. I'll try to get a pic of the bushier one when the rain stops.
     

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  5. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    All Right - Finally,

    Here is a pic of the smaller bushier variety I am growing. I don't know if it is a different type or not. The growth habit is very different, but the flowers are the same at a quick glance.
     

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  6. kwtimo

    kwtimo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    586
    Location:
    key west, fl 10b-11
    Dean, I thought you had forgot about me. What a cool form of this plant. It is so compact in its habit. Are the leaves and blooms the same size as your larger plant? Have you done any pruning to it? It looks identical to the larger form, only smaller in overall size. Thanks for sharing this pic.
     
  7. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    What do you mean - it only took me 6 months to follow through. :)

    I'll have to take a few samples of a leaf and a flower from both and place them side by side and take a photo for you to decide. I haven't really done a careful examination.

    But no, I have not trimmed up the bushier one at all. I have about 5 of them, and they have all maintained that compact appearance - and I have had them in the ground for over three years. No species name was given.
     
  8. Justin

    Justin New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Pahoa, HI; Vista, CA
    We have the tree species, and purposely put it just outside our bedroom window. Hopefully when the tree gets a bit larger and more profuse (it's about 7-8 feet tall now), every night we'll be able to smell the blooms. It has quite a nice shape, I haven't had to do any pruning for shaping purposes yet.
     
  9. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    That is what is nice about this particular plant. I've had mine for over 7 years, and I too have never needed to touch it with clippers - not once. Sometimes slow growing is nice.
     

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