Many of our best-loved plants first entered the South through Charleston. Here’s the fascinating story of how they got to the region's garden gateway and then to your backyard.
Photo: Van Chaplin, Ralph Anderson
One of the most intoxicating fragrances in the world comes from the waxy gardenia blossom. The double white flower was first planted in the New World in the garden of its namesake, Dr. Alexander Garden, a Scottish physicist and naturalist who moved to Charleston in 1752. The flower was first discovered by a friend of a friend, Carolus Linnaues, the Swedish botanist that had developed the genus-and-species system for scientifically naming and classifying plants.