Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

The Meaning of the Frangipani Flower

fototi/iStock/Getty Images

Frangipani is a popular, tropical flower that emits a heady scent. According to the Guide to Houseplants website, frangipani flowers are native to Central America. Grown in abundance in Hawaii, these showy blossoms are fashioned into flower necklaces called leis. Frangipani is the Laotian national floral emblem.


gemma_salaman/iStock/Getty Images

Frangipani flowers symbolize shelter and protection, according to the Perfect Wedding Day website. These blooms, also known as plumerias, create stunning bridal bouquets.


Sura Nualpradid/iStock/Getty Images

Frangipani flowers represent perfection, blossoming into five-petal pinwheel shapes in white, vibrant shades of crimson, rosy-pink, yellow and diverse color combinations. Frangipani flowers summon subliminal feelings of peace and tranquility, according to the Sacred Garden Frangipanis website.

Name Origins

bdspn/iStock/Getty Images

“Frangipani” is derived from the surname of 16th-century Italian aristocrat Marquis Muzio Frangipane, believed to have invented the perfume of the same name. The frangipani flower’s scientific name of plumeria comes from French explorer and botanist Charles Plumier, who studied the blossom and made its presence known throughout Europe before his passing in 1706.


joloei/iStock/Getty Images

Frangipanis are members of the dogbane, or apocynaceae, plant family. Frangipani species number more than 300, including Plumeria rubra, Plumeria alba and Plumeria obtusa.

Foreign Meanings

Peyanut/iStock/Getty Images

According to Southeastern Asian folklore, frangipani flowers supply shelter to demons and ghosts, and a Malaysian myth suggests that the plumeria scent symbolizes the presence of vampires. In Bangladesh, white frangipani blossoms signify funerals and dying.

Care For And Transplant A Frangipani Flower

Choose a location for your frangipani with full sun or partial shade. Transplant frangipani in the spring or summer when the plant can recover quickly. Remove container-grown frangipani from its container, taking care to disturb the roots as little as possible. Whether transplanting frangipani from a container or from another location in your garden, place the plant in the center of the hole and back fill with native soil. Apply 1 to 2 inches of water each time, allowing it to soak into the ground. Be careful to avoid standing water. Frangipani likes moisture but will not tolerate soggy soils. Give potted plants enough water to keep the soil barely moist. Cover landscape plants with tarps when freezing temperatures are expected. Move container trees indoors. Watch for signs of insect infestations. Remove small populations by hand, but pesticide application may be required for large infestations.

Garden Guides