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What is the best flower for a wedding bouquet? The answer to this really comes down to personal preference. There is no “best” flower because each one is lovely in its own right. Surrounded by dark green, waxy leaves, the exquisite gardenia exudes a strong, sultry scent. It was this intoxicating fragrance that captivated an English sea captain traveling through South Africa in 1754, prompting him to bring home one of the native plants as a souvenir. Gardenias are lovely tucked into a bouquet or floating in a low bowl as a centerpiece, and a single gardenia makes a wonderful scented corsage, boutonniere or hair accessory. But be gentle: the delicate ivory petals of this expensive flower can bruise easily. Large three- to four-inch blossoms, as well as a miniature variety, are available too.

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