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Frangipani (Plumeria)

Image The Plumeria is namend after the French botanist Charles Plumier (1646 - 1704), is native to Central- and South America, but also widespread all over Asia for example Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia due to the tropical weather conditions.
The Plumeria is also known as Frangipani is related to the Apoynaceae Family. It has a beautiful sweet fragrance, hence the waxy flowers have been using for perfume production since the 17th Century.

Furthermore Plumeria flowers are often used as a decoration in ceremonies or bonded into flower garlands.

The genus consists of mainly deciduous shrubs and trees, exceeding up to 10 meters.
The blossoms have no nectar and simply lure moths and other pollinators with their fragrance which is strongest at night-time.


Plumeria Trees are mostly planted at buddhist tempels, that's why they are very often associated by tourists with temples in both Hindu and Buddhist cultures, though Hindus (except on Bali) do not use the flowers in their temple offerings.

Also known as...


The Chinese call this Flower "Egg Flower" because its coloration looks like a yolk being encased of egg-white.


In India as well as in Sri Lanka the tree is a symbol of immortality because of its habit of producing leaves and flowers even after it has been lifted out of the soil. In Sinhala it is known as the "Araliya" and in Tamil as the "Arali" or "Perungalli", and it was a favourite flower of Lord Krishna.


Dok Champa is the national flower and official symbol of Lao PDR, and it represents sincerity and enjoyment of life.


In Malaysia, the Frangipani trees are mostly planted in graveyards and are called "Bunga Kubur" (Graveyard Flower) among the locals. The strong scent of the Plumeria at night has also been associated with a ghost called Pontianak, who is one of the most famous and gruesome creature in the Malaysian culture.


In Mexico, the Nahuatl (Aztec language) name for this plant is "Cacalloxochitl" which means "Crow Flower." It was used for many medicinal purposes such as salves.


This national flower of Nicaragua called Sacuanjoche was printed on some Centavos banknotes. The name Sacuanjoche means Precious Yellow Pen and is of "Cholan" (Maya language) origin. According to Maya legend, certain gods were born of this flower which was known by Maya people as Sac Nicte (white flower alias Plumeria alba) and Chac Nicte (red flower alias Plumeria rubra).


The flowers called Kalachuchi are usually offered to the dead. There is also a local belief that the tree put strain on the relationships of those living nearby.


In Thailand the Plumeria is called Dok Champa or Dok Leelawadee and Thai people believe the Champa tree gives shelter to demons and ghost and should not be planted very close to a dwelling house.

Plumeria flowers printed on Thai postage stamps.

Image What is Plumeria called in your country?
I would be delighted to know your story!

Please do not hesitate to contact me.

Historical findings

[1816] The Botanical Register l S. Edwards >

[1820] The Botanical Register l S. Edwards >

[1824] The Botanical Register l S. Edwards >

[1830] The Botanical Register l S. Edwards >

[1875] Blütendiagramme l Dr. A.W. Eichler >

[1908] Botanische und zoologische Ergebnisse l Dr. Karl Rechinger >

Image courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

An exotic touch for our home

We (my wife and me) first saw and smelled a Plumeria Flower in Thailand.
Back at home again, we decided to grow one of this wonderful flowers in our living room for an exotic touch and a nice souvenir.

After a fruitless search at several flower shops, we found and bought some Plumeria seeds on the internet, but the growing failed unexpected.
Afterwards, we learned that it could take 3 or 4 years until it might bloom for the very first time.

Finally we found below-mentioned online shop, specialized on Plumeria cuttings and seeds.

Beginning of April 2009, a healthy, safely packed Plumeria cutting
(genus: Plumeria Rubra J4) arrived incl. detailed care instructions.

Image Plumeria Rubra J4, effective: 19.04.2009

- First leaves are growing.

- The thin, white-coloured roots are not fully-grown yet.

- The Plumeria trunk is beeing braced by a wooden stuff.

Six month and ten leaves later, our Plumeria got a solid foothold.


Please be careful with watering due to Plumerias don't like wet soil constantly. It might cause mould. That's why we decided to replant it into a special irrigation system.

Based on the idea of hydrophonics, this innovative irrigation system can be used with ordinary soil or other substrats and can provide dosed water up to 12 weeks.


Plumeria Rubra J4, effective: 31.01.2010

Still waiting to see it as a blooming plant... :)

Plumeria Rubra J4, effective: 11.06.2010


Link recommendation

www.exotenversand.de On www.exotenversand.de you will find further info and care tipps, as well as a wide choice of Plumeria cuttings and seeds and much more. Check it out.


- www.bisean.blogspot.com
- www.en.wikipilipinas.org
- www.horrorstories.anthonet.com
- www.linaherbs.blogspot.com
- www,maya-archaeology.org

- www.maya-ethnobotanicals.com
- www.mexiko-lexikon.de
- www.plumeria.org
- www.thailandinformation.de
- www.wikipedia.org

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