The Frangipani flower is also known as Plumeria. It is one of the most fragrant of all flowers in the world, and many people will claim the frangipani as their favorite scented flower – what a treat for the senses. Hawaiian leis often include the Frangipani. They range from white with yellowish centers to variations of pink having 5 petals. It is native to Central America through Mexico spreading to tropical and subtropical areas in the world.
They are the most fragrant in the evening – this is to attract the sphinx moth to pollinate them. These moths end up pollinating them by unintentionally transferring the pollen from flower to flower just because they are searching for their nectar – however the flowers have no nectar, so the moths keep going – flower to flower thinking they will get some.
Frangipani is more of the common name for Plumeria. The Frangipani name comes from an Italian noble family of the 16th century marquess who invented a perfume with the scent of the flower. The frangipani is the flower of the city of Palermo in Sicily, Italy.
In the South Pacific – throughout Hawaii and Polynesia – a woman can indicate her relationship status by which ear she place the frangipani flower over. If the flower is worn over the right ear, it means you are seeking a relationship – however, if it’s worn over the left ear, it will mean you are taken.
Some other interesting facts about the Frangipani – It has also been used in Swahili love poems – It is associated with love in Feng Shui – In other countries, it has been used as a flower for funerals and burials – The Frangipani is a good host for dendrobium orchids – The national flower of Nicaragua is the Frangipani – Leaves of the Frangipani are used as a healing wrap for ulcers and bruises and its latex is used as a liniment for rheumatism in Caribbean cultures – The Frangipani is also used in Vietnam for its healing qualities in which the bark is mashed in alcohol preventing skin inflammation and also used in treating indigestion and high blood pressure.
Many people love to grow Frangipanis. As it is use to a tropical climate, some say to keep your frangipanis in a pot indoors. However, if you live in the southern states, you can very well plant them outside.
There are many fine perfumes, therapeutic oils and creams that are made with the beautiful scent. There’s nothing like floating in a bath infusing your senses with the frangipani scent as if you’re in a tropical garden – and then rubbing and drenching the scented lotion on your skin afterwards to top it off.