Hi everyone! I wanted to write a piece about Frangipani plants due to the magnificent tropical beauty they have, but didn’t quite know where to begin or what exactly I wanted to say. I have admired every single Frangipani plant I’ve seen so far, and must admit that they’re probably my most favourite type of tropical plant, and I am a huge fan. But before writing about anything, of course it's important to do some research first. And boy am I glad I did, as I have found Frangipani plants are so much more than meets the eye.
There are two main types of Frangipani; Obtusa and Rubra. The Obtusa Frangipani have shiny rounded leaves and an attractive yet potent fragrance, whereas the Rubra Frangipani are somewhat less scented and have longer pointed leaves that are duller in appearance than those of the Obtusa. Throughout the species, the Frangipani flowers usually flaunt bold shades of yellows, whites, reds and pinks, but also quite a few dazzling pastel shades. It is quite intriguing how their colourings and patterned are so simple yet so stunning and graceful. One thing I found in my research is that the scent of a Frangipani plant tends to be stronger during night-time. I thought how perfect this is considering how these flowers are rather romantic and elegant, and would definitely set the perfect setting for an evening date. Just imagine; you’re sat sipping wine with the person of your dreams on a warm summers evening in a garden filled with lush tropical flowers and tiny lights twinkling around you, gently showing off the awesome shapes and colours of the Frangipani flowers, and all you smell is that wonderful scent. Ah.. perfect!
Flowering Frangipani plants can grow as high as 40 feet tall, and sometimes just as wide in tropical regions. They can grow to be a large shrub or even a small tree. They are however deciduous and sensitive to cold, and must always be protected from the frost as their fleshy stems will rot as soon as the temperature becomes too low and unbearable for them to take. Frangipani plants with thicker leaves with a waxy coating stand to be more resistant to high and low temperatures and harsh winds than those with more delicate foliage. One other fact that is important to know, is that Frangipani are known to possess a milky sap substance which is poisonous and therefor contact with this substance should be avoided as much as possible. If you do come in to contact with this sap, you should wash your hands thoroughly and immediately, taking extra special care not to ingest it or bring it in to contact with your eyes.
I didn’t really think it was necessary for me to talk about the appearance of Frangipani too much as, for me, their beauty is undeniable and fascinating. I’ve chosen a few of my favourite pictures of the Frangipani plants we currently sell and have included them in this article, although honestly I think a photograph doesn’t do the flowers nor glossy foliage much justice. It’s always better to admire these in the flesh.
As I was saying at the beginning, whilst doing my research I discovered that Frangipani have so much more than meets the eye. I am gobsmacked with some of the facts I have found. Now, there are the obvious uses, such as stunning flower cuttings for bouquets, or garlands and decorations, but they are also used for beauty products such as face creams and massage oils. In some cultures it is believed that Frangipani plants have healing powers, and is even seen as a symbol of immortality in India due to its ability to grow flowers even after it has been removed from the soil. They are so sacred to some, that the Frangipani flower has become a national symbol and even features on some bank notes. In my opinion, the most outstanding fact I found was that the Frangipani trees have a very attractive and useful wood. This wood is white in colour, very light and oh so soft to touch. It seems it would be too delicate for any kind of craft. However, it is actually quite useful and often used for the manufacturing of musical instruments and furniture.
If any of you readers have any additional facts or stories about the history of the Frangipani plant, I would love to hear from you. I'd also like to learn more specific details about what instruments and furniture the wood from Frangipani plants make as this information proved hard to come by. I find it amazing that something so gentle and fragile looking could be put to so much use, and so much more than just a fantastic bunch of flowers from that perfect bloke from the garden date!
You can see the Frangipani plants we stock in our online shop, or you could even drop by and take a look for yourself at just how remarkable these plants are.
Bye for now, Kayleigh.