Frangipani in The Bahamas

Plumeria obtusa

flowa.jpgBotanical Information

Frangipani is a flowering plant which belongs to the genus Plumeria. The Frangipani consists of about eight species including shrubs and small trees. Plumeria obtusa, one of the species of Frangipani, is native to the Bahamas, and has been cultivated throughout the tropics, specifically Hawaii, where it was provided by the Singapore Botanic Garden (this is how Plumeria Obtusa gets one of its common names, Singnapore Frangipani).
Characteristics Plumeria obtusa can grow as either a small tree or shrub. Most are grown from propagating, taking branches from the plant to produce another. Seeds are used as well, however its a longer period of time for the plant to flower than if propagating. At the tips of its thick branches, are clusters of leaves measuring between six to twenty-two centimeters long and two to seven centimeters wide. The leaves on the Plumeria obtusa are long and rounded opposed to other species, which contain a more pointed leaf. The Frangipani flowers grow in inflorescences (flower bearing stalks) at the ends of branches. Plumeria obtusa are eudicots with five petals, and contain white flowers with yellow centers.

map map .pngGeographic Distribution & Climate Effects

Frangipani are native to Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and south America, and have been cultivated throughout the tropics. Frangipani prefer to grow in full sunlight. Frangipani can tolerate shade however, they will be more successful exposed to the sun, growing faster and flowering better than those in the shade. Frangipani can tolerate The Bahama's sea breezes but will face destruction when faced with high winds. Frangipani's can also tolerate very light frosts however, need the warmed and sunniest weather possible to flower and grow successfully, which is why certain species such as the Plumeria obtusa are native to places such as The Bahamas.


leis 2.jpg
Origin of Name The name Frangipani comes from an Italian noble family who created plumeria-scented perfume. The genus Plumeria gets its name from a French botanist, Charles Plumier, who travelled throughout the West Indies. Obtusa, the species name refers to the long, rounded (obtuse) leaves, while the rest of the species contain pointed (acute) leaves. A decorative Flower Frangipani are used to make Hawaiian leis; all species are incorporated so that a variety can be used to make a colorful lei. To make the leis, the flowers are soaked in water then dried to be assembled on string. Flowers from the species Plumeria obtusa begin to turn brown before the rest ofthe Plumeria species and must be collected quickly after blooming. Frangipanis are also recognized for their strong, sweet, scent.

Different Species
List of Species


The Plumeria obtusa is the only species of
Frangipani with rounded leaves
The Flowers of the Plumeria obtusa
grow in inflorescence
The Plumeria obtusa grows as a small tree
or shrub
flower clusters.jpg


"PLANTS Profile." Natural Resources Conservation Service, n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2012. <>.
"Meet the Plants, Plumeria Obtusa." Plumeria Obtusa - Meet the Plants - National Tropical Botanical Garden Plant Database. National Tropical Botanical Garden, 2012. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. <>.
Francis, Mary. "Plumeria Species." EHow. Demand Media, 31 July 2011. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. <>.