Frangipanis are a much loved iconic tree in tropical and subtropical areas of Australia, thriving in sandy, free draining soil and frost free conditions. They can be grown in cooler areas provided they are planted in a sheltered, full sun position next to a brick wall that radiates heat to keep them warm.
The main species of Frangipani grown in Australia are Plumeria Rubra and Plumeria Obtusa and more recently becoming popular Plumeria Pudica.
“Plumeria Rubra” are a deciduous medium sized tree with distinctive fragrant flowers, growing up to 8m high and 5m wide in the tropics, but in South East Queeensland around 5m high .They are available in an ever expanding range of colours from white, pink ,apricot, multi-colour and red. Their leaves are a matt mid green with a pointed tip.
“Plumeria Obtusa” or more commonly known as “Singapore White ” or “Evergreen Frangipani” is slightly smaller growing than the Rubra reaching around 5m high in the tropics or 3-4m here in South East Queensland. It has large glossy green spoon shaped leaves and large white slightly fragrant flowers, it will remain evergreen only in the tropics.
“Plumeria Pudica” or “Everlasting Love” is a large shrub frangipani growing to about 3m high in a vase shape with glossy green hammer head shaped leaves and large clusters of clear white flowers with a small yellow centre, that appear most of the year except winter.
All these varieties of frangipanis flower throughout the Summer and into Autumn and prefer a full sun position in free draining soil.
Water regularly during the hot summer months but reduce watering dramatically in the winter. They are very drought tolerant plants.
They have quite a small fibrous root system and are not invasive at all.
They also make great pot specimens .