Gardenia Ellis sect. Rothmannia (Thunb.) Endl.: 562 (1838); Sonder: 4 (1865).
Unarmed shrubs or small trees. Leaves opposite or occasionally ternate, petiolate, elliptic; stipules ovate, hairy within. Flowers solitary, sessile. Calyx with tube usually turbinate to cylindrical; limb tube velvety inside; lobes present or 0, erect. Corolla 5-lobed, white with maroon streaks or speckles; lobes obovate-oblong; tube cylindric below, campanulate above, hairy within lower portions. Stamens 5, arising in corolla mouth, subexserted; anthers sessile, linear. Disc tumid. Ovary 1-locular, with 2 parietal placentas opposite each other and sometimes partially fused; ovules many; style glabrous, linear, exserted; pollen presenter narrowly fusiform to club-shaped with stigmatic surface confined to shortly bilobed apex. Fruit globose, sometimes crowned with persistent calyx limb. Seeds many, smooth, embedded in pulpy placental tissue, forming a solid mass. x = 11.
Species 40, tropical Africa, Asia and Seychelles; 3 in eastern regions of sthn Afr., absent from Namibia, Free State, Lesotho, Northern and Western Cape.