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Tabernaemontana africana Hook.

Family Name: Apocynaceae
Common Name: Samoan Gardenia
Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Moderate Water Fragrant Ornamental Flowers Woody Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree, Shrub
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Africa
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Exotic

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Shrub or small tree, reaching up to about 4 - 6 m tall.
Foliage Dark green leathery leaves measuring about 12 - 15 cm long, simple and opposite.
Flowers White 5 petal fragrant flowers with a yellow tinge in the centre, measuring about 8 - 10 cm across.
Fruits Yellow ripe fruits in globular pairs, measuring about 5 - 6 cm.
Etymology Genus Tabernaemontana is named after Jakob Theodor von Bergzaben (1520 - 1590) (Latinised surname Tabernaemontanus meaning "tavern in the mountain"), who was a German herbalist. Species africana means from Africa.
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products ( Cultivated for its timbre and latex.)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Flowers)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Acidic (low pH) Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) White
Flowering Opening Time Daytime

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Yellow / Golden

Image Repository



Master ID 29904
Species ID 4213
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.