Is It Frangipani or Plumeria?

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One of my favorite tropical flowering trees is the plumeria. I never get tired of their fragrance, so I have planted quite a few around my house. My hope is that they will soon be big enough and produce enough flowers that my place smells sweet most of the year.

Above is the Plumeria alba, the one I planted first. I laugh at the description that says the common name is “frangipani,” when here in Hawai`i the common name is “plumeria. So I suppose it depends on where in the tropics you are living. I have friends who have spent most of their life in the South Pacific or Caribbean, and they call it “frangipani.”

There are so many colors, and my favorite is the deep red, or maroon, but I don’t have one of those in my yard yet. I’d love for someone to break off a couple pieces of their tree and leave it on my doorstep!

That’s how easy it is to grow plumeria here. You simply move a few rocks, pour in some soil, and stick in the cutting.

My next favorite color is the pale pink. I have several of these around my “patio in progress.” These photos were taken in the summer when their blossoms were at their peak. Where I live, they lose their leaves in the winter months, but they are already showing signs of early flowering.

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Over the past three years of living in this particular place, my plumeria have shown substantial growth, unlike some of the other plants I try to grow. That should tell me something, don’t you think?

Please check Wikipedia for facts and history of the frangipani.

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