15 Nov

Delicate, Awesome Frangipani

Frangipani (Buy plants online) is one of the most exotic and widely grown flowering trees. Its sweet scented flowers, rich colorful blossoms and lush green leaves make it a center of attraction in any garden landscape. Originally belonging to Mexico, Jamaica and Ecuador, Frangipani can be seen is almost all tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world.

white frangipani flowers

Photo © papaija2008

Botanical name of Frangipani is Plumeria which is associated with a 17th century French botanist Charles Plumier. Other names are Jasmine Tree, Life Tree, Pagoda Tree, Crimson Temple Tree and Gulcheen.

How to Grow Frangiani

Almost all varieties of Frangipani (Buy plants online) are easy to grow and bloom. All they require is a warm and bright spot in a rich soil. It grows well when watered moderately and fertilized generously. It is an ideal plant for container gardening as well as low maintenance garden landscape. It rarely grows taller than 6 meters and blooms most time of the year. The tree sheds its leaves in winter to reveal its fat limbs. Therefore, landscape experts use companion plants with Frangipani to conceal its pale, ugly limbs during the winter. Smart gardeners provide it with the background of bright and showy walls to display its leafless structure as interesting sculpted form.

Because of its extra ordinary ability to produce leaves and flowers after it has been lifted from the soil, Frangipani is usually related to immortality. For this reason, it can be commonly seen growing in graveyards and temples in India and Pakistan. Its flowers are also used during worship at temples in Sri Lanka and India.

Leaves and Flowers

Frangipani produces large green leaves (up to 30 cm in length). The leaves usually grow at the ends of branches. They are smooth and narrow with distinct parallel veins running from the mid-rib towards edges of the leaves.

Frangiani flowers are usually white with a deep yellow throat and tinge of pink on outer edges. Hybrid varieties produce flowers in many different shades of crimson, pink, yellow and white. Each flower has five waxy petals.

plumeria leaves

Photo © J.M. Grag

Medicinal Use

Frangipani has many medicinal benefits. The milky sap from its trunk is used in the treatment of rheumatism. When used with sandalwood oil and camphor, the milky sap relives itching. The bark is used in relieving fever, healing sores and reducing tumors. However, self medication and diagnoses should always be avoided.

Propagation

Frangipani cuttings up to 60 cm are the best and easiest way to propagate Frangipani. Cuttings should be allowed to wilt and dry out for a few days before planting.

Varieties of Frangipani

Plumeria rubra ‘Rubra’ is a smaller species with leaves not longer than 22.5 cm. Flowers are scarlet red and emit intoxicating perfume.

Plumeria rubra ‘Acutifolia’ bears white flowers with deep yellow throat. The leaves of this species are long and smooth.

Plumeria alba produces white flowers and bears long leaves which do not have the typical marginal vein. Stems and buds are greenish white.

Plumeria obtusa is an evergreen species with large, dark leaves. The pure white flowers are much larger than any of the other species.

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