Many Australians would be surprised to hear that there is more than one type of frangipani. This is not so unexpected for people living in Melbourne and even Sydney where one frangipani species, the hardiest variety, grows much more abundantly than the other species. The hardiest variety of frangipani is know as the rubra (roo-bra). As you go north and the climate becomes warmer, the choice to grow other frangipani species becomes easier. In Northern Australia, especially near the coast where climates are warmer and winter nights are less harsh, numerous frangipani species can be found.
Many people in Queensland have heard of “the evergreen frangipani“ but do not know much about it, or them. In the past, almost all people who used the term “evergreen frangipani” were talking about the Plumeria obtusa (P. obtusa) which has a large white flower with a yellow centre. We call this white obtusa, the “Singapore frangipani”. In recent years, with its increase in popularity, a number of people who use the term “evergreen frangipani” are thinking of the hammerhead frangipani which is known as Plumeria pudica or Everlasting Love. Also, we’ve recently discovered a very rare and unusual frangipani, Plumeria cubensis, that actually remains bushier than all the “other evergreen frangipani species” throughout the winter.