Gardenia taitensis

Gardenia taitensis or Tiare Maori is the national flower of the Cook Islands. This flower was introduced to the Cook Islands from Western Polynesia. The flower grows on shrubs that can reach four meters in height and is white with five to nine petals. In Novemeber, there is a week long Tiare Flower Festival where the flowers are featured on floats in parades and in flower arrangement competitions. Tiare Maori are also used to make Ei’s and flower decorations. The flower has a strong fragrance and is used to make perfume.

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