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. Plants are deciduous. They lose their leaves and stop blooming during winter/dry season. 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.
Plumeria alba, commonly called white frangipani or nosegay, is a small rounded deciduous tree of the dogbane family that grows in a vase-shape to 15-25' tall. It features fragrant white flowers with yellow centers. Upright branches are thick but weak, and have a milky sap. This species is native to Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles, but has been introduced into a number of tropical areas around the world. Very fragrant 5-petaled flowers (to 3" wide) bloom in terminal clusters at the branch tips from spring to fall. Flowers are white with yellow centers. Oblong-lanceolate green leaves (to 12" long) 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 white.
Common name of frangipani is from the name of a 16th century Italian nobleman who created a perfume with a similar scent.
Plumeria flowers (particularly those of Plumeria rubra) are used to make leis and a scented oil in a number of Pacific islands including Hawaii.
Tropical specimen for frost free areas. Effective near decks and patios or the front porch. For areas South of USDA Zone 10, it must be grown in containers which are overwintered indoors. Widely grown in greenhouses.