Name: Frangipani and Hawaiian lei flower. Its scientific name is Plumeria Alba - species of the genus Plumeria (Apocynaceae).
Description: There are hundreds of different varieties of Frangipanis found throughout the world. These striking deciduous shrub or small tree are a native to Central America, Mexico, Caribbean and South America. They will flower from early summer and through to the end of autumn, where they will start to drop their leaves to form a carpet on the ground.
Depending on where and in what they are planted the stem can be very thick at times and the foliage can spread very wide at the top of the plant. The flowers omit a beautiful fragrance when in bloom, so much so that you can smell them even when you are walking nearby. Their flowers come in so many colours, some of which are pink, red, white, and yellow, but you will find more colours as you look around for these plants.
Size: The plant or shrub can grow to different heights and widths depending on where you plant it. In the tropics some varieties can grow to a height of over 10 metres and 5 metres in width. This height and width will vary depending on what you plant them in. In a pot they could grow to a height of 1.5 metres with a width of a metre. This will depend on what size pot you plant it in and how much you prune it back. The leaves can reach 30 to 50 cm long with flowers about 5-7.5 cm in diameter.
Conditions: Frangipanis require a moderate amount of rain at least once a week. Frangipanis are very sensitive to cold weather, so it is suggested that you plant them in a sunny, warm, well drained site that is sheltered from frost and wind. Try planting them close to windows, brick walls or anywhere the plant can get radiating heat. Plumerias are often planted in containers and make excellent cut flowers.
They love growing by the beach in sandy soils and are one of the best trees for tolerating salty air along the coast. They will struggle in clay soils, where it is hard for water to drain away. Make sure that you donít overwater the plant as this could lead to the roots of the plant rotting. The plant can be very susceptible to pest so you will need to keep an eye on them.
Propagation: Frangipani species may be propagated easily from cuttings. These cuttings need to allowed to dry at the base. Once it has dried you can plant the cutting into either a pot or garden where there is well drained soil.
Propagation can also be by tissue culture from cuttings of freshly elongated stems. They can be grown from seeds, but this is a much harder way of propagating the plant.