Sunday, April 20, 2008

April GBBD Addendum

How could I have omitted this gorgeous Frangipani, Plumeria obtusa, from my April Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post! Just look at her! The bright yellow throat fades into a creamy white petal. The blossom colors contrast nicely with the dark green of the leaves. This is the flower used to make Hawaiian leis. As a cut flower, Frangipani’s aroma fills the room. Place the flower cluster in a vase or float it in a glass bowl. I’m never sure how to handle its milky sap, but usually burn the cut end before placing it in water.

When this deciduous tropical tree is grown from seed, it will take three years or more to bloom. The seeds will cross-pollinate, so you aren’t guaranteed that the seed you collected from one specimen will bloom like it did. This is a long time to invest in a plant and not know if it will fit well in your landscape.
The dark purple-black growth that looks much like a thin eggplant is a Frangipani seedpod.

I have a few Frangipani volunteers growing in one bed right now, but had not seen the split seed pod before now. It looks more like a sculpture than seeds!
Due to the length to flower and cross-pollination of its seeds, I think this plant is best propagated from cuttings. The “cloned” plant bloom exactly like the parent. As I mentioned earlier, Frangipani has milky white sap. Allow at least a week for the cut end to dry before you plant it in dirt. Don't worry if you get busy or forget about it, the cutting will last a long, long time. Today I sent my daughter home to Austin with a couple of stems that have been scarring over since last fall.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful flower.

Jan Always Growing

Meems said...

Very nice and deserving of its own post! Frangipangi is not a flower I've tried to grow but recently I've been tempted by a few bloggers do a fine job with the beautiful bloomers.

Glad you remembered to take some photos and share it with us.
Meems @Hoe&Shovel

Mary Beth said...

Meems - One thing to consider when you put in a frangipani. For about 3 months it will be completely bare - it's a very sculptural look, but that doesn't change the fact that it is completely bare. Let us know if you add one to your beautiful gardens!

Jan - I agree - it's definitely one of my favorite blooms!

vbdb said...

Just spent some very enjoyable time browsing your blog - the frangipani information may have been just the push I needed to grow them. And, your ladybug/aphid post was absolute perfection - information AND great photos. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Mary Beth, this is interesting to see a seedpod of the frangipani. I have never seen any of mine set seeds. I always grew and grow them from cuttings.