Frangipani (Plumeria rubra)
Plumeria rubra syn. Plumeria acutifolia, is a flowering plant in genus Plumeria of the family Apocynaceae, native to Mexico, Central america and Venezuela. It is also known as plumeria tree, plumeria, temple tree, West Indian jasmine, Red Frangipani, Common Frangipani or frangipani. The epithet rubra is derived from the Latin 'ruber' meaning red. Frangipani was named after the creator of the plumeria-scented Italian perfume.
Plumeria rubra is a popular garden and park plant, and is widely cultivated in subtropical and tropical regions around the world. Plumeria rubra is an important crop in Hawaii, with millions of flowers were sold to be used in leis (Hawaiian garland or wreath).
It is a spreading shrub or small tree, 3-10 m tall and wide, and a domed top. The trunk is thick and succulent with branches that are covered with a thin gray bark. The white, milky sap which ooze out from the brittle branches when cut or broken, is an irritant to the skin and mucous membrance. The decidous, green leaves are alternate, glossy, linear, large, lanceolate, 30-50 cm long, and are clustered at the end of the branches. The fragrant flowers are 5-7.5 cm diameter, terminal, borne at the end of branches, and can be of white, yellow, orange, pink, or red color with shades of yellow in the center of the flower. The five-petaled flowers are often profuse and very prominent. The fruit is a long toxic seedpod, 15-30 cm long, with 20-60 winged seeds.
Plumeria rubra grows well in full sun, and well-drained soil. It needs no pruning unless it becomes very lanky.Propagation is by seeds or cuttings. Disease is frangipani or plumeria rust.
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