Plumeria bahamensis

Plumeria bahamensis Urb.

Common Names: Inagua Frangipani

Family: Apocynaceae

Habit: Plumeria bahamensis grows as thin shrub up to 8 meters in height with a trunk to 20 cm in diameter.  The bark is whitish gray sometimes red.  The leaves are arranged alternately, distinctly oblong, to 20 cm long, 8 cm wide, and clustered at branch tips. The leaves have a rotund leaf apex and a slightly wavy margin.  There are prominent primary and secondary veins. Vegetation produces a milky sap.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in umbel –like panicles arising in leaf axils.  The calyx has 5 unfused, greenish sepals.  The corolla has 5 white (with yellow center) petals that are fused forming a tube with the lobes overlapping to one side forming a pinwheel shape. There are 5 stamens fused to the corolla tube.  The ovary is superior and has two locules and many ovules.  The fruit is a follicle that turns brown at maturity.  The seeds have tufts of hairs at one end to assist in dispersal.

Habitat: Plumeria bahamensis grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Dwarf Shrublands (bonsai coppice).

Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Plumeria bahamensis occurs on Great Inagua.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Plumeria bahamensis is not used medicinally in the Bahamian Archipelago.

Plumeria bahamensis has been in the past seen as a variety of Plumeria obtusa but the Levy Preserve recognizes it as a distinct species due to its distinctive leaf shape and stem thickness.