Plumeria obtusa
Common Name: Singapore graveyard flower 
Type: Tree
Family: Apocynaceae
Native Range: Central America, Caribbean
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 10.00 to 25.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 25.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: White with yellow throats
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Drought


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-12 where plants are best grown in rich, dry to medium moisture, well-drained loams in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Avoid wet soils. Plant foliage remains evergreen in some locations, but is semi-evergreen in climates with dry winter seasons where considerable leaf drop may occur. 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 significantly reduced watering. Easily propagated from stem cuttings.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Plumeria obtusa, commonly called pagoda tree or white frangipani, is a small, rounded tree of the dogbane family that typically grows to 10-15' tall but less frequently to 25' tall. It is native to the Bahamas and the Greater Antilles, but has been introduced into a number of tropical areas around the world. Fragrant, 5-petaled, white flowers (to 1 3/4" diameter) have showy yellow throats. Flowers bloom in clusters from spring to fall, with heaviest bloom often occurring in July-August. In Hawaii, the flowers are commonly used in leis and to make perfumes. Narrow, obovate, shiny, dark green leaves (to 8" long) have blunt tips, hence the specific epithet. Fruits are cylindrical seed pods (to 3-5" long) which are rarely formed in cultivation.

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

Specific epithet means leaves with blunt tips.

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


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


Tropical specimen for frost free areas. Effective near decks and patios or the front porch. For areas north of USDA Zone 10, it must be grown in containers which are overwintered indoors. Widely grown in greenhouses.