There are 8 species of frangipani, each one having different shaped leaves and plant shape. The most commonly species used as cut flowering branches are Plumeria rubra (common frangipani) which has yellow or pink flowers, and P. alba, which has white flowers. Flowers consist of 5 broad petals arranged in a spiral pattern. Flowers are usually borne on branches with few leaves, and are extremely fragrant, particularly at night. They do not, however, bear nectar.
Franipanis are so popular in Hawaii they are thought by many to be a native, but they are in fact from central America and Mexico. These tropical trees are also popular in Australia, and are sold as individual flowers, or more rarely as flowering branches.
What to look for
- Fully open flowers
- Fresh, undamaged flowers;
- Flowers with a strong scent;
- Avoid flowers with brown marks or edges.
- These are tropical flowers and should not be refrigerated.
- Recut at least 1 cm off each stem and place in water immediately.
- Individual flowers can be floated in a bowl of clean water.
- A preservative is optional.
- Replace vase water with fresh water every second day.
Interesting Facts about this Flower
The genus, originally spelled Plumiera, is named in honour of the seventeenth-century French botanist Charles Plumier, who travelled to the Americas and named many plant and animal species by Joseph Pitton de Tournefort.
The common name “Frangipani” comes from a sixteenth-century Italian noble family. The story goes that the Marquis Frangipani invented a perfume for gloves many years prior to the discovery of the flower. The flower’s scent resembled the ‘Frangipani perfume’, so the name stuck.
Botanical Name: Plumeria sp
Common Names: Dead Mans finger, Frangipani, Pagoda Tree
Stem Length: Branches: 30 – 60 cm; Individual flowers: 1 to 5 cm.
Country of Origin: Central & South America
Available Colours: Pink, White, Yellow