August 6, 2009

Gardenia - Origin in Fujian Province

I am a little house bound by asthma and the increasing hazy conditions outside. So I want to put my mind at ease by looking at some of my old images in my computer. I played some Billie Holiday (wow holiday - that name reminds me to have a holiday)songs.

So here I am - I have selected a flower and accompanying thoughts to calm your day.

Think gardenia. Think of a haze-less day!

The gardenia is a very old and traditional flower found in the Rajang basin where it is not a native plant and has given a lot of joy to many people. Furthermore many believe that it was first brought over by the Foochows when they arrived in Sibu in 1901. Perhaps not many of you know that the gardenia is actually a native of Southern China and a popular flowering scrub in the Fujian province. It is therefore quite easy to conclude that the Foochow pioneers did bring a few cuttings of gardenia when they first came over. Thus the flower since 1900's has been a favourite amongst the Chinese and even the Malays. My grandfather for example had a special love for fragrant flowers and was a keen gardener. He was one of the Foochows in the Second Batch of Pioneers who arrived in Sibu. Later when he accumulated his weatlh he was able to build a big mansion with a rolling garden in Sungei Merah. This garden was full of his favourite plants which included the gardenia.

I am sure his senses were heightened by the scents of the gardenia which would have helped him whenever he felt homesick for his motherland.

Today this flowering plant has been found as far away as Ulu Kapit because it is quite easy to plant. People like it because of its fragrance and lasting floral life. A flower stays for as long as two weeks on the plant.


My friend's gardenia bush in Holiday Park.

A young and green bud coming out. The bush gives many road uses a sense of beauty. Not many people would use up roadside land for growing of flowers like this. If more grow flowers like this Miri will be just oo beautiful!!

A young and fresh flower - such beauty is rare - and one has to look closely to enjoy the beauty and splendour. At this stage the gardenia also smells best.


Still beautiful but age is catching up!



An aging gardenia and the petals are beginning to droop and drop.

Do you know that it is a member of the coffee family?

The genus was named by Carl Linnaeus after Dr. Alexander Garden (1730-1791), a Scottish-born American naturalist.

They are evergreen shrubs and small trees growing to 1–15 metres (3.3–49 ft) tall. The leaves are opposite or in whorls of three or four, 5–50 centimetres (2.0–20 in) long and 3–25 centimetres (1.2–9.8 in) broad, dark green and glossy with a leathery texture. The flowers are solitary or in small clusters, white, or pale yellow, with a tubular-based corolla with 5-12 lobes (petals) from 5–12 centimetres (2.0–4.7 in) diameter. Flowering is from about mid-spring to mid-summer and many species are strongly scented.

Today it is still grown widely in the Min valley in Fuzhou (where the Foochows of Sibu came from). Called Zhi zi (Chinese 梔子) the bloom in China and Korea is used as a yellow dye, which is used for clothes and food (including the Korean mung bean jelly called hwangpomuk).

In France, Gardenia is the traditional flower which men wear as boutonnières.

It is also a favourite flower in perfume making.

If you need a bit of love and romance perhaps you should look at some soaps and perfumes scented by gardenia. Scents often evoke the senses in us and our imagination will take flight.

These pictures may help you find the right presents for someone you love.


Estee Lauder's Gardenia

Gardenia

Chanel's Gardenia.

This is the picture which helped me think and write better today.....



Thanks Billie Holiday for all the beautiful memories today!


Source : Wikipedia®

2 comments:

Bengbeng said...

we need prayers

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Bengbeng
Yes indeed I pray that more people would gather together to pray hard for good climate and good health.

We cannot afford not to care about others now. Fire and heat are too dangerous for Earth!!

God be with you all in Sibu.