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Research and Conservation in Southern Sonora, Mexico

Plumeria rubra (frangipani, cascalosuchil)

Frangipani is often assumed to be native to Hawaii because it is so common there, but the species
is native to the tropical Americas. Plumeria rubra occurs from Sonora south to Panama and the
Caribbean islands. It is usually a shrub in Sonora, but occasionally grows to more than 20 feet tall (7 m).
The Sonoran plants always have white flowers with yellow centers; colored forms occur farther south.
They bloom at the end of the spring dry season.


Plumeria can grow to tree size, though they are often shrubs. This one is near Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, flowering in July just before the August arrival of the rainy season. Photo: Mark Dimmitt

A shrubby plumeria early in the dry season. Sierra de Mazatán, Sonora. Photo: Cory Martin

Plumeria may flower with foliage if rains are early. Photo: Mark Dimmitt

Plumeria rubra northeast of Alamos, Sonora; July. Cerro Redondo in background. Photo: Martín G. Figueroa

 


Plumeria is very inconspicuous when leafless. La Pintada, Sonora. Photo: Mark Dimmitt