Tahitian Gardenia Flower (Gardenia Tahitensis)
Gardenia Taitensis (also called Tahitian Gardenia or TiarÃ© Flower) is a species of plant in the Rubiaceae family. It is an evergreen tropical shrub that grows to 4 m tall, it has glossy dark green leaves that are oppositely arranged along the stem.
The flower is creamy white, pinwheel-shaped with 5 to 9 lobes and very fragrant. Native to the highland shores of the South Pacific, it has the distinction of being one of the few cultivated plants native to Polynesia. It is the national flower of French Polynesia and the Cook Islands.
Gardenia Tahitensis is known all around the world as Tiare from Tahiti or Tiare Mahoi. Tiare is a national symbol of Tahiti, often celebrated as the flower of affection, having delicate snow-white petals that stand for the language of love.
The scent of Tiare is heady and hypnotic, spreading sweet and exotic aromas.
Polynesian people in the pacific islands use the extremely fragrant blooms in their flower necklaces, which are called “Ei” in the Cook Islands, “Hei” in Tahiti or “Lei” in Hawai’i.
In some Pacific Island traditions, wearing a flower indicates relationship status. A flower worn on the left ear means the person is taken and on the right ear means available.
Tiare is a soul and a symbol of Tahiti. Both men and women wear these fragrant flowers during special ceremonies and holidays.
The flower is used to make Monoi Tiare Tahiti, a perfume-oil made by infusing the blossoms in Coconut oil.