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Frangipani (Plumaria alba)

st john flora: frangipani

st john flora: native frangipani
Native Frangani

 

The native or wild frangipani has a smooth bark and long slender leaves. It produces a pleasant aromatic flower that is always white.

 

frangipani caterpillar
Frangani Caterpillar

Every year their leaves are eaten by a beautiful, large, black and yellow caterpillar with a red head. They are called frangipani caterpillars, and they metamorphisize to a big dark moth called the sphinx moth. The tree survives and grows new leaves.

 

St John Flora: Hawaiian Frangipani
Hawaiian Frangani
St John Flora: Hawaiian Frangipani
Hawaiian Frangani

 

Its imported relative, Plumeria rubra, may have pink or white flowers. It has soft fat twigs that serve to hold water during dry periods.