Plumeria pudica

Plumeria pudica Jacq.

Common Names: Golden Arrow, Gilded Spoon, Bridal Bouquet

Family: Apocynaceae

Habit: Plumeria pudica grows as thin shrub up to 5 meters in height with a trunk to 10 cm in diameter.  The leaves are arranged alternately, distinctly oblong/spoon shaped, to 20 cm long, and clustered at branch tips. The leaves have a cuspidate/aristate leaf apex and an undulate 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 at their base 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 pudica grows in Human Altered environments (yards and gardens).

Distribution: Plumeria pudica is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago but does occur on many islands.  It is native to Panama, Columbia, and Venezuela.  It is now grown throughout the Caribbean region.

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

Plumeria pudica is grown in the horticultural industry for its showy flowers and interesting leaves.