Selected Trees and Shrubs
Plumeria rubra var. acuminata, Common name: Frangipani, Temple Tree
Plant Family: Belongs to the Apocynaceae or Periwinkle family, which includes several other Frangipani species and numerous varieties; family also includes the large Ditta Bark tree (Alstonia scholaris), Allamanda (Allamanda cathartica) and Oleander(Nerium oleander)
Description: Low, spreading, deciduous, semi-succulent tree, sap milky, up to 9 m tall (30 ft), with broad, wide-headed canopy, often as wide as tree is tall, exceptionally attractive when flowering; stem contains a white, poisonous milky sap; branches swollen, pale green, semi-succulent, are weak and easily broken; has large oblong leathery leaves, usually glossy green, 20-30 cm long (8-12 in) and 8 cm wide (3 in), arranged alternately and clustered at branch ends; almost or quite bare of leaves in dry season; tends to flower continuously in Caribbean, bearing large bunches of beautiful white, highly fragrant, waxy flowers, about 5-10 cm across (2-4 in) with five petals arranged in a tubular funnel shape; flowers occasionally followed by a few pods; the numerous species and varieties of Frangipani are characterized by a range of visually striking, vibrant flower colors – whites, yellows, pinks, dark reds and every shade in-between; to see some exceptionally beautiful Hawaiian examples, click here and scroll down.
Natural Habitat: Hot, dry to moderate rainfall areas, up to 600 m elevation (2000 ft); grows best in full sun and well drained soil; stands sea breeze well; easily and usually propagated by cuttings, less often by seed, which remain viable for about three months but seedlings take three years or more to flower.
Origin and Distribution: Native to Tropical America; but now seen in tropical and semi-tropical countries around the world; is popular in dry to moderate rainfall areas throughout the Caribbean; in Dominica, a few specimens are also seen in the wetter uplands.
Uses: Primarily an outdoor ornamental, but also as an indoor potted plant; flowers used to make the popular and colorful Hawaiian leis.
Indigenous Legends: In Asia, often planted near Buddhist temples, hence also called Temple or Pagoda tree; flowers treasured by the Polynesian Islanders for their durability, fragrances and variety of colors.
H.F. Macmillan. Tropical Planting and Gardening. Macmillan, London 1956
Jack Scheper. Floridata.com. Florida, 2005
Richard A. Criley. Plumeria in Hawaii. University of Hawaii, Hawaii 2005
G.W. Lennox and S.A. Seddon. Flowers of the Caribbean. Macmillan, London 1978
US National Tropical Botanical Gardens, (ntbg.org). Kalaheo, Hawaii 2004
Robert A. DeFilipps. Useful Plants of the Commonwealth of Dominica, West Indies. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 1998
Dan H. Nicolson. Flora of Dominica, Part 2: Dicotyledoneae. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 1991
Preface - How it Began
Introduction to Website
A Brief History
Plan of Gardens
Trees, Shrubs, Birds:
Selected Trees and Shrubs
Florida's Fairchild Garden
Birds of the Gardens
Three Virtual Tours
Panoramic Views Today
Early Panoramic Views
Hurricane David's Ravages
Reports and Documents
Treasures of the Cathedral
Diaspora Policy Paper
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