Lay persons and hobbyists however, use the name gardenia to refer to the highly fragrant, very popular flowers of many of these plants. They are very important in the perfume industry. While some gardenia flowers are creamy or pale yellow, the majority are white.
Gardenias are also prized for their attractive, glossy foliage, especially as subjects for bonsai. Because they are originally from tropical and subtropical regions, suffer from frost and need acidic soil to flourish, they can be difficult for the novice to grow. However, many gardeners in temperate areas find them worth the trouble and they are a popular indoor or glasshouse plant.
Gardenia flowers range in size from the tiny cultivar Professor Pucci to large, complex flowers such as gardenia magniflora.