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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Gentianales

Familia: Apocynaceae
Subfamilia: Rauvolfioideae
Tribus: Plumerieae
Subtribus: Plumeriinae
Genus: Plumeria
Species: P. alba – P. clusioides – P. cubensis – P. ekmanii – P. emarginata – P. filifolia – P. inodora – P. krugii – P. lanata – P. magna – P. montana – P. obtusa – P. pudica – P. rubra – P. sericifolia – P. subsessilis – P. trinitensis – P. tuberculata – P. venosa

Nothospecies: P. × stenopetala

Plumeria L. Sp. Pl. 1: 209. (1753)

Lectotype species: Plumeria rubra L. vide Britton & P.Wilson (1925)


Plumiera Adans., Fam. 2: 172. 1763, orth. var.


Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum 1: 209.
Britton, N.L. & Wilson, P. 1925. Scient. Surv. Porto Rico 6: 87.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2017. Plumeria in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2017 Oct. 09. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2017. Plumeria. Published online. Accessed: Oct. 8 2017. 2009. Plumeria. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2009 Feb 25.

Vernacular names
Deutsch: Frangipani
English: Frangipani
suomi: Temppelipuut
français: Plumeria, Frangipanier
magyar: Frangipáni
italiano: Plumeria
Bahasa Melayu: Pokok Bunga Kemboja
português: Plumerie
සිංහල: අරලිය
svenska: Frangipanisläktet
ไทย: ลั่นทม
reo tahiti: Tipanie

Plumeria (/pluːˈmɛriə/), known as frangipani, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Apocynaceae.[1] Most species are deciduous shrubs or small trees. The species variously are endemic to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, and as far south as Brazil and north as Florida, but are grown as cosmopolitan ornamentals in warm regions.[2][3] Common names for plants in the genus vary widely according to region, variety, and whim, but frangipani or variations on that theme are the most common. Plumeria is also used as a common name, especially in horticultural circles.[4]


Plumeria flowers are most fragrant at night in order to lure sphinx moths to pollinate them. The flowers yield no nectar, however, and simply trick their pollinators. The moths inadvertently pollinate them by transferring pollen from flower to flower in their fruitless search for nectar.[5] Insects or human pollination can help create new varieties of plumeria. Plumeria trees from cross pollinated seeds may show characteristics of the mother tree or their flowers might just have a totally new look.

Plumeria species may be propagated easily by cutting stem tips in spring. Cuttings are allowed to dry at the base before planting in well-drained soil. Cuttings are particularly susceptible to rot in moist soil. One optional method to root cuttings is applying rooting hormone to the clean fresh-cut end to enable callusing. Plumeria cuttings could also be propagated by grafting a cutting to an already rooted system.[6] The Plumeria Society of America lists 368 registered cultivars of Plumeria as of 2009.[7]
Etymology and common names

The genus is named in honor of the seventeenth-century French botanist and Catholic monk Charles Plumier, who traveled to the New World documenting many plant and animal species.[8] The common name "frangipani" comes from a sixteenth-century marquis of the noble Frangipani family in Italy who claimed to have invented a plumeria-scented perfume,[9] but in reality made a synthetic perfume that was said at the time to resemble the odor of the recently discovered flowers.[10] Many English speakers also simply use the generic name "plumeria".

In South East Asia this tree and its flower is considered sacred. A relief in Penataran temple in East Java shows a plumeria tree with its distinct flower-petals and skeleton-like branches.[11] Another relief in Borobudur, at the west side, 1st zone also depict plumeria.[12] These reliefs, which were created before European exploration (Borobudur constructed in ~ 9th CE and Penataran in ~ 14 CE) makes a difficult question about when plumeria came to South East Asia.

In eastern India and Bangladesh, it is traditionally considered as a variety of champak flower, the golok chapa (গোলোক চাঁপা), meaning the champaka that resides in the heavenly home of Sree Krishna, a Hindu god residing at the highest realm of heaven. This flower is considered sacred and also adorned by the name of gulancha and kath golap (literally, wood rose).
Plumeria relief in Penataran temple, Blitar, East Java
In culture

In Mesoamerica, plumerias have carried complex symbolic significance for over two millennia, with striking examples from the Maya and Aztec periods into the present. Among the Maya, plumerias have been associated with deities representing life and fertility, and the flowers also became strongly connected with female sexuality. Nahuatl-speaking people during the height of the Aztec Empire used plumerias to signify elite status, and planted plumeria trees in the gardens of nobles.[13]
Frangipani trunk in Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Flowering tree of Plumeria rubra decorating a garden in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Hot pink frangipani in full bloom

These are now common naturalized plants in South and Southeast Asia. In local folk beliefs they provide shelter to ghosts and demons. They are also associated with temples in both Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist cultures.

According to Yangsze Choo in her novel The Night Tiger, this is “the graveyard flower of the Malays.”

In several Pacific islands, such as Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa, Hawaii, New Zealand, Tonga, and the Cook Islands plumeria species are used for making leis.[14] In Hawaii, the flower is called melia. In modern Polynesian culture, the flower can be worn by women to indicate their relationship status—over the right ear if seeking a relationship, and over the left if taken.[15]

Plumeria alba is the national flower of Laos, where it is known under the local name champa or "dok champa".

In Bengali culture, most white flowers, and in particular, plumeria (Bengali, চম্পা chômpa or চাঁপা chãpa), are associated with funerals and death.

Also in the Philippines,, Indonesia and Malaysia, the plumeria is often associated with ghosts and cemeteries.[16] Plumerias often are planted on burial grounds in all three nations. They are also common ornamental plants in houses, parks, parking lots and other open-air establishments in the Philippines. Balinese Hindus use the flowers in their temple offerings. The plumeria's fragrance is also associated with the kuntilanak, an evil vampiric spirit of a dead mother in Malaysian-Indonesian folklores.

Indian incenses fragranced with Plumeria rubra have "champa" in their names. For example, Nag Champa is an incense containing a fragrance combining plumeria and sandalwood. While plumeria is an ingredient in Indian champa incense, the extent of its use varies between family recipes. Most champa incenses also incorporate other tree resins, such as Halmaddi (Ailanthus triphysa) and benzoin resin, as well as other floral ingredients, including champaca (Magnolia champaca), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), and vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) to produce a more intense, plumeria-like aroma.[17]

In the Western Ghats of Karnataka, the bride and groom exchange garlands of cream-coloured plumeria during weddings. Red colored flowers are not used in weddings. Plumeria plants are found in most of the temples in these regions.

In Sri Lankan tradition, plumeria is associated with worship. One of the heavenly damsels in the frescoes of the fifth-century rock fortress Sigiriya holds a 5-petalled flower in her right hand that is indistinguishable from plumeria.[18]

In Eastern Africa, frangipani are sometimes referred to in Swahili love poems.[19]

Some species of plumeria have been studied for their potential medicinal value.[20]

The genus Plumeria includes about a dozen accepted species, and one or two dozen open to review, with over a hundred regarded as synonyms.[21]

Plumeria species have a milky latex that, like many other Apocynaceae contains poisonous compounds that irritate the eyes and skin.[22] The various species differ in their leaf shape and arrangement. The leaves of Plumeria alba are narrow and corrugated, whereas leaves of Plumeria pudica have an elongated shape and glossy, dark-green color. Plumeria pudica is one of the everblooming types with non-deciduous, evergreen leaves. Another species that retains leaves and flowers in winter is Plumeria obtusa; though its common name is "Singapore," it is originally from Colombia.

Plants of the World Online[23] lists the following:

Plumeria alba L. - Puerto Rico, Lesser Antilles
Plumeria clusioides Griseb.
Plumeria cubensis Urb.
Plumeria ekmanii Urb.
Plumeria emarginata Griseb.
Plumeria filifolia Griseb. - Cuba
Plumeria inodora Jacq. - Guyana, Colombia, Venezuela (incl Venezuelan islands in Caribbean)
Plumeria krugii Puerto Rico
Plumeria lanata Britton
Plumeria magna Zanoni & M.M.Mejía - Dominican Republic
Plumeria montana Britton & P.Wilson
Plumeria obtusa L. - West Indies including Bahamas; southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Florida; naturalized in China
Plumeria pudica Jacq. - Panama, Colombia, Venezuela (incl Venezuelan islands in Caribbean)
Plumeria rubra L. - Mexico, Central America, Venezuela; naturalized in China, the Himalayas, West Indies, South America, and numerous oceanic islands
Plumeria sericifolia C.Wright ex Griseb.
Plumeria × stenophylla Urb. - Mexico and Central America
Plumeria subsessilis A.DC. - Hispaniola
Plumeria trinitensis Britton
Plumeria tuberculata G.Lodd.
Plumeria venosa Britton


The following may be designated to the nominate subspecies of Plumeria obtusa L.:
Plumeria clusioides Griseb.[24] - Cuba
Plumeria cubensis Urb. [24] - Cuba
Plumeria ekmanii Urb.[24] - Cuba
Plumeria emarginata Griseb.[24] - Cuba
Plumeria krugii Urb.[24] - Puerto Rico
Plumeria montana Britton & P.Wilson[24] - Cuba
Plumeria venosa Britton[24] - Cuba

The following may be considered synonyms of Plumeria obtusa var. sericifolia (C.Wright ex Griseb.) Woodson:
Plumeria lanata Britton[25] - Cuba
Plumeria sericifolia C.Wright ex Griseb.[25] - Cuba
Plumeria trinitensis Britton[25] - Cuba
Plumeria tuberculata G.Lodd.[25] - Hispaniola, Bahamas

Formerly included in genus[2]

Plumeria ambigua Müll.Arg. = Himatanthus bracteatus (A.DC.) Woodson
Plumeria angustiflora Spruce ex Müll.Arg. = Himatanthus attenuatus (Benth.) Woodson
Plumeria articulata Vahl = Himatanthus articulatus (Vahl) Woodson
Plumeria attenuata Benth = Himatanthus attenuatus (Benth.) Woodson
Plumeria bracteata A.DC. = Himatanthus bracteatus (A.DC.) Woodson
Plumeria drastica Mart. = Himatanthus drasticus (Mart.) Plumel
Plumeria fallax Müll.Arg. = Himatanthus drasticus (Mart.) Plumel
Plumeria floribunda var floribunda = Himatanthus articulatus (Vahl) Woodson
Plumeria floribunda var. acutifolia Müll.Arg. = Himatanthus bracteatus (A.DC.) Woodson
Plumeria floribunda var. calycina Müll.Arg. = Himatanthus bracteatus (A.DC.) Woodson
Plumeria floribunda var. crassipes Müll.Arg. = Himatanthus bracteatus (A.DC.) Woodson
Plumeria hilariana Müll.Arg. = Himatanthus obovatus (Müll.Arg.) Woodson
Plumeria lancifolia Müll.Arg. = Himatanthus bracteatus (A.DC.) Woodson
Plumeria latifolia Pilg. = Himatanthus obovatus (Müll.Arg.) Woodson
Plumeria martii Müll.Arg. = Himatanthus bracteatus (A.DC.) Woodson
Plumeria microcalyx Standl. = Himatanthus articulatus (Vahl) Woodson
Plumeria mulongo Benth. = Himatanthus attenuatus (Benth.) Woodson
Plumeria obovata Müll.Arg. = Himatanthus obovatus (Müll.Arg.) Woodson
Plumeria oligoneura Malme = Himatanthus obovatus (Müll.Arg.) Woodson
Plumeria phagedaenica Benth. ex Müll.Arg. 1860 not Mart. 1831 = Himatanthus drasticus (Mart.) Plumel
Plumeria phagedaenica Mart. 1831 not Benth. ex Müll.Arg. 1860= Himatanthus phagedaenicus (Mart.) Woodson
Plumeria puberula Müll.Arg. = Himatanthus obovatus (Müll.Arg.) Woodson
Plumeria retusa Lam. = Tabernaemontana retusa (Lam.) Pichon
Plumeria revoluta Huber = Himatanthus stenophyllus Plumel
Plumeria speciosa Müll.Arg. = Himatanthus bracteatus (A.DC.) Woodson
Plumeria sucuuba Spruce ex Müll.Arg. = Himatanthus articulatus (Vahl) Woodson
Plumeria tarapotensis K.Schum. ex Markgr. = Himatanthus tarapotensis (K.Schum. ex Markgr.) Plumel
Plumeria velutina Müll.Arg. = Himatanthus obovatus (Müll.Arg.) Woodson
Plumeria warmingii Müll.Arg. = Himatanthus obovatus (Müll.Arg.) Woodson


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Urs Eggli, ed. (2002). Illustrated Handbook on Succulent Plants. 5: Dicotyledons. Springer. p. 16. ISBN 978-3-540-41966-2.
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Beragam Tanaman Pada Relief Candi di Jawa Timur Abad 14 Masehi; Skripsi_Regina Yofani_UI 2010
"Zumbroich, Thomas J. 2013. 'Plumerias the Color of Roseate Spoonbills'- Continuity and Transition in the Symbolism of Plumeria L. in Mesoamerica. Ethnobotany Research & Applications 11:341-363". Retrieved 2015-03-10.
Jones, Jay (April 22, 2008). "Hawaii keeps the lei-making tradition alive". Los Angeles Times.
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The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed December 2016)
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Plants of the World Online Plumeria Tourn. ex L. (retrieved 6 May 2019) The Plant List (RBG, Kew, MBG) access date: 2015-02-26 The Plant List (RBG, Kew, MBG) access date: 2015-02-26

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