Plumeria rubra
Common Name: templetree 
Type: Tree
Family: Apocynaceae
Native Range: Mexico to Panama
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 15.00 to 25.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 25.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Pink to red
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-12 where plants are best grown in rich, dry to medium moisture, well-drained loams in full sun. Avoid wet soils. In tropical areas, plants will bloom throughout much of the year. In areas where temperatures dip below 50 degrees F. during winter/dry season, plants will lose their leaves and stop blooming. In cooler climates, plants may be grown in containers with a well-drained sandy potting mix. Container plants must be overwintered indoors with reduced temperatures (50-55 degrees F) and slightly reduced watering. Easily propagated from stem cuttings.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Plumeria rubra, commonly called nosegay or frangipani, is a small rounded deciduous tree of the dogbane family that grows to 15-25' tall with a vase-shaped form, fleshy branches and a milky sap. It is native to dry, hot areas of Mexico, Central America and Venezuela, but has been introduced over time to tropical areas around the world. Very fragrant 5-petaled flowers (to 4" wide) bloom in terminal clusters at the branch tips from late spring to fall. Flowers are pink to red. Elliptic dark green leaves (to 8-16" long) with undulate margins are spirally clustered at the stem ends. Fruits are cylindrical pods (to 8") that are rarely formed in cultivation.

Genus name honors Charles Plumier (1646-1704), French monk of the Franciscan order, botanist and traveller.

Specific epithet means red.

Common name of frangipani is from the name of a 16th century Italian nobleman who created a perfume with a similar scent.

Plumeria flowers are used to make leis and a scented oil in a number of Pacific islands including Hawaii.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for scale and nematodes. Root rot may occur in overly moist soils. For more information see: Problems Common to Many Indoor Plants

Garden Uses

Tropical specimen for frost free areas. Effective near decks and patios or the front porch. Container plant that is overwintered indoors.