Scientific Name: Plumeria obtusa
Common Names: Singapore Plumeria, Singapore Graveyard Flower, Frangipani
Duration: Perennial, Evergreen
Growth Habit: Tree
Hawaii Native Status: Cultivated. This ornamental garden plant is native to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and the Caribbean.
Flower Color: White
Height: Up to 20 feet (6 m) tall
Description: The flowers are in rounded, bouquet-like clusters at the branch tips. The individual flowers are tubular, 3 inches (8 cm) across, and have 5 white, blunt-tipped, spreading lobes and a yellow center. There is no tinge of red anywhere on the flowers or the flower buds. The flowers are sometimes followed by dry, brown, linear-oblong seed follicles containing numerous winged seeds. The leaves are shiny dark green above, paler green and prominently veined below, leathery, and narrowly egg-shaped with a distinctive rounded tip. The leaves are clustered near the tips of the thick, fleshy, knobbly, brown branches.
Here in Hawaii, Singapore Plumeria is grown in sunny gardens at lower elevations. The plants are usually propagated by stem cuttings.
The similar White Plumeria (Plumeria alba) has leaves with a pointed tip, while Frangipani (Plumeria rubra) has deciduous leaves with a pointed tip and a matte upper surface and red-tinged flowers and flower buds.
Fragrant – The flowers are wonderfully fragrant. Singapore Plumeria flowers are made into leis or worn tucked behind the ear so that their perfume can be enjoyed by the wearer.
Poisonous – The milky latex sap is poisonous and can irritate the skin.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Apocynaceae – Dogbane family
Genus: Plumeria L. – plumeria
Species: Plumeria obtusa L. – Singapore graveyard flower