Can you identify the species of gardenias by leaves? I was lucky to get two gardenias at a local swap. They are probably two different species because the leaves are so different .. I'd really like to know which ones they are so I know whether or not they are hardy in my zone.
One has broad, very glossy leaves and the other one has thinner less glossy leaves.
Anne, I was thinking Tabernaemontana, too - just went out and looked at mine, to compare with your picture - they appear to have identical leaves - I couldn't think of the botanical name - always called it crepe jasmine. Mine has double white flowers, the size of a quarter and no fragrance, although I have smelled some that do have a fragrance.
In regard to the first plant: I agree that, without flowers, an id to species will be be difficult. However, there are a couple of things to look for which will help to narrow it down.
Tabernaemontana will have milky latex (family Apocynaceae). Gardenia do not have milky latex.
Check to see if your plant has interpetiolar stipules (see attached pic for an example). If so, it confirms that your plant is either a Gardenia or another genus in the same family (Rubiaceae) as interpetiolar stipules are a very reliable character of that family.
BTW the image is not mine (found on the net & used for illustrative purposes only).
Yep, Rubiaceae for sure! And I think it probably IS a Gardenia... maybe a cultivar of Gardenia augusta. Your plant appears to be putting out some whorls of 3 leaves in addition to the more usual pairs of opposite leaves. I have certainly seen Gardenia exhibit this trait before. Waiting for flowers will allow further ID.