Frangipani Plants in California

Frangipani, also known as plumeria is a tropical flowering shrub or small tree that is native to the tropics of Mexico and Central America though it is commonly associated with Hawaii, as it thrives there. As a tender tropical it is does not tolerate frost and will go dormant or become damaged in sustained temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It does best with daytime temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. With these parameters, Frangipani can and does grow well outdoors in the temperate coastal zones of Southern California in sun or partial shade. It is also widely grown in large containers that can be moved into the greenhouse for the fall and winter in cooler parts of the state.

'Obtusa' Species

Plumeria 'Obtusa' is a frangipani that produces white and creamy yellow flowers over deep evergreen leaves that have a pronounced rounded tip. The flowers are more white near the edge and gently shade to a rich butter yellow at the center.

'Alba' Species

'Alba' are a white species of especially fragrant frangipani that blooms in pure crisp white with a yellow center eye or yellowing flaming around the edges of the petals. Many 'Alba' cultivars have evergreen leaves.

'Rubra' Species

One of the most common and widely grown species of the frangipani plants, plumeria 'Rubra', blooms in a range of colors and combinations of colors. These include rose pink petals with a yellow eye and white, rose and yellow petals in an shaded ombre pattern. Rubra species cultivars can have evergreen or deciduous leaves depending on the cultivar.

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An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.