Frangipani - The Pink Color Flowers of Plumeria rubra with the Yellow Throat
The Pink Color Flowers of Frangipani with the Yellow Throat

Frangipani (Plumeria rubra)

Frangipani is a small tropical tree with extremely fragrant flowers and long period of blooming.

Its use as an ornamental plant in the tropical and subtropical regions of the planet is extremely widespread, but its use as a medicinal plant is also widespread.

And if the pharmacological properties and the traditional therapeutic use of the plant will be extensively mentioned in a future tribute (?), the following article emphasizes the emergence of the ornamental elements of the plant.

Viva Mexico !!!! (… ???)


Frangipani Multi-trunked Tree in Lawn - © Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental,
Plumeria rubra Multi-trunked Tree in Lawn - © Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental,
Frangipani Origin

Frangipani (Plumeria rubra)

Frangipani - Open Flowers and Flower Buds - © Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental,
Plumeria rubra - Open Flowers and Flower Buds - © Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental,

Frangipani (Plumeria rubra) - Brief Description

Scientific name

Plumeria rubra L.

Common name

Red Frangipani, Common Frangipani



General characteristics

Type of foliage: Deciduous

Form: Small tree, single or multi-trunked, of open density and vase symmetrical canopy

Texture: Coarse

Height: 8-15 m (26-50 ft)

Diameter: 8-10 m (26-32 ft)

Growth rate: Slow

Flowering period (Northern Hemisphere): June – November

Fruiting period: Summer – Winter


Shape and colours

Bark: Gray-green 

Leaves shape: Simple, elliptic, obovate

Foliage colour: Green

Foliage colour in autumn: Yellow

Flowers shape: Funnel, on terminal panicles

Flowers colour: Red, Pink, White, Yellow

Fruit: Pod, brown



Soil type: Drained, sand, loam, clay, acidic to slight acidic

Exposure: Sun

Soil pH: 6-6.7

Watering: Low

Hardiness: −4 °C (25 °F – USDA Hardiness zone 9b)



Specimen, urban planting, seaside planting, roadside tree, containers

Frangipani (Plumeria rubra)

Frangipani - Flowers and Leaves
Frangipani - Flowers and Leaves

Frangipani (Plumeria rubra) - General Notes

  1. The genus name Plumeria was given by Charles Linnaeus in honor of the 17th century French Roman Catholic monk and botanist Charles Plumier (1646-1704). Charles Plumier made three botanizing expeditions to the New World that yielded significant plant material, which he described in the work of Nova Plantarum Americanarum Genera of 1703-04. Among other things, he was the first scientist to discover and describe plants of the genus Fuchsia, the plant namely Fuchsia triphylla. On the other hand, the name of the species rubra is the Latin word for red – and apparently was not given for the blood spilled after the discovery of the West Indies, but is due to the red color of the plant’s flowers.
  2. The common name Frangipani is the English version of French Frangipanier, from the Italian surname Frangipani, which replaced the old common name of the tree in English, which was ‘nosegay’ – meaning, if we attribute it correctly, neither little or no ‘joy of the nose’, obviously due to the intense aroma of the plant blossoms. For the story, the Frangipani were Italian-born aristocrats, one of which in the 16th century, created a famous scent, having as its main ingredient the flowers of Plumeria rubra.
  3. Of course the Plumeria rubra, neither Italian nor aristocrat is. It is a tree that originates from Central America & Mexico, and is native to the Caribbean as well as the tropical regions of South America. From there, it ranged to many tropical and subtropical zones thanks to its rich, attractive and long-lasting aromatic flowering.

Frangipani (Plumeria rubra)

Frangipani - The Manyseeded Follicle Fruit
Plumeria rubra - The Manyseeded Follicle Fruit
Frangipani (Plumeria rubra) - Additional Informations 1
  1. Frangipani develops one or more trunks from the colar, which result in moderate density convex and uplifted branches. The trunk is surrounded by a thin gray-green bark, which, if cutted, appears a milky sap similar to that of Oleander (Nerium oleander). The skin’s contact with the sap is irritating, and ingestion causes poisoning.
  2. Its leaves are alternately in the upper terminal part of the branches. They are green in color, elliptic or obovate, smooth and large, with a length of 10 to 50 cm (3.9-19.6 in) and a width of between 20 and 30 cm (8-11.8 in). The midrib of the leaves is thick and distinct, while the horizontal leaf veins reach up to the periphery where they joined up (anastomosis) .
  3. Frangipani flowers are hermaphrodite and extremely fragrant. They are broughted on terminal cymes, are of radial symmetry, have a funnel shape, consist of 5 wide petals and their diameter is between 5 and 7.5 cm (9-3 in). Flowering is long, and can last from 90 to 150 days starting in early summer to be completed around mid-autumn. The pollination of the plant takes place with insects in the evening, where they are attracted by the intense aroma of the flowers, but in return they do not get anything but an interesting walk, because the Franzipani flowers do not produce nectar.
  4. Plumeria rubra forms a manyseeded fruit, which is a long brown follicle of 15 to 30 cm (9-11.8 in) in length.
  5. Franzipani’s life span varies between 40 and 50 years.

Frangipani (Plumeria rubra)

Frangipani - Plumeria rubra Trees in the Bloom Begining
Frangipani Trees in the Bloom Begining.
Frangipani (Plumeria rubra) - Additional Informations 2
  1. Plumeria rubra, within its natural limits of range, is a plant adaptable and durable. In relation to temperatures, the minimum is between 0 and -1 °C (32-30.2 °F), but fully establised south-facing plants can tolerant up to -4 °C (24.8 °F). In any case, however, all Frangipani cultivar plants are extremely sensitive to frost.
  2. In relation to the soil, the Frangipani grows in varius types, but thrives in light sandy soils that drain well. From the point of view of nutrients, it seems to respond better to those of medium fertility, while in terms of pH it prefers the slightly acidic soil.
  3. Frangipani is extremely tolerant to drought, high temperatures and aerosol salt.
  4. From pests and diseases generally Frangipani has no problems. Sometimes, however, it is infect by rust and mildew, while aphids, various leaf-lobe caterpillars, thrips, various kinds of whiteflies and scales can attact to plant. By using the appropriate formulations, all parasites are treated effectively.

Frangipani (Plumeria rubra)

The Red Color Flowers of Frangipani
The Red Color Flowers of Frangipani

Frangipani (Plumeria rubra) - Use and Forms

  1. Frangipani is not only ornamental but has both pharmaceutical and ethnobotany value. In fact, there are so many traditional uses and pharmacological properties of the plant, making it almost obligatory for Kalliergeia editorial team to have a future special tribute to this subject. In brief, we will mention that extracts from different parts of the plant have antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and anthelmintic action.
  2. Botanically the Frangipani is classified in four forms:
  • Plumeria rubra forma acutifolia
  • Plumeria rubra forma lutea
  • Plumeria rubra forma rubra
  • Plumeria rubra forma tricolor

Plumeria rubra forma acutifolia has white petals with a yellow throat.

Plumeria rubra forma lutea has a white color on the upper part of the petals that progressively turns yellow towards the base.

Plumeria rubra forma rubra has pink or red petals with a yellow throat.

Plumeria rubra forma tricolor has a white and pink petal color with yellow in the center and at the base of flower.

  1. And Mexico blossoms and the colors of its flowers are sometimes planetary in size. From Los Folkloristas the Tierra Mestiza’ – something like the Earth of Mestizos.
  1. Rauch, F. D. and Weissich, P. R. (2009). Small Trees for the Tropical Landscape: a Gardner’s Guide. University of Hawaii Press.: China
  2. Shinde, P. R., Patil, P. S., & Bairagi, V. A. (2014). Phytopharmacological review of Plumeria species. Scholars Academic Journal of Pharmacy, 3(2), 217-227.


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