This supplement is additional
information to the following article as seen in Issue Four:
the noble nosegay comes of age
– Part 1
pp. 62-65 by Steve Prowse
Plumeria (approx 12 species & numerous
naturally occurring varieties) are endemic to and originate
from South and Central Americas in addition to the Caribbean
Islands. There are approximately 4000 named cultivars that
have been bred outside their native homeland, all derive from
Some believe that South American seafarers brought their
sacred frangipani with them when they inhabited and colonised
From Polynesia the noble nosegay was taken all around the
world, loved by all, resulting in a common belief that Hawaii
and other Polynesian Islands are the home of the frangipani.
Another theory is that early Spanish seafarers brought the
frangipani to the western Pacific. Either way, the plant’s
succulent stems and the ability of cuttings to strike roots
allowed it to survive long sea journeys with ease.
Frangipani trees respond to pruning to maintain a preferred
smaller size however if left to grow naturally they develop
a beautiful natural framework of branches.
To create a densely branched specimen prune branches to
one half or one third of their natural length. These pruned
branches will sprout multiple branches near the pruned ends.
Pruning to create a standard shrub with a long trunk and
no lower branches is done simply by pruning branches right
back to the main trunk, or if a large parent tree is available,
selecting a long straight branch as a cutting as an instant