Plumeria obtusa

Plumeria obtusa L.

Common Names: Frangipani

Family: Apocynaceae

Habit: Plumeria obtusa grows as thin semi-succulent 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, oblong, to 25 cm long, 8 cm wide, and clustered at branch tips. The leaves have a rotundate leaf apex and a slightly wavy margin.  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 at their base 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 obtusa grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Forest/Shrubland (coppice or scrublands).

Distribution: Plumeria obtusa occurs throughout the Lucayan Archipelago, Cuba, Hispaniola and Central America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Plumeria obtusa is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

It is used in the horticultural industry.