Family: Apocynaceae( Milk exudation from plant)
Synonyms: Plumeria acuminata
Common Names: Melia.Pua melia,Temple tree,Graveyard flower,Temple flower,Fragipani
Plumeria rubra is a tree that grows in a “candelabrum” shape typical of Plumerias with a single trunk and multiple branches of a similar length that support an open spreading canopy.
This species grows from 0.9-5 meters tall. Plumeria trees are partially deciduous therefore lose all of their leaves during long, dry periods. The leaves of Plumeria rubra are 10-42 cm long and 4-14 cm wide with the widest point at the center or tip of the leaf blade. In this species the tip of the leaves narrow to a sharp point in contrast to leaves of the other common species, Plumeria obtusa, which has more rounded leaf tips.
Plumeria rubra produces flowers before the leaves emerge at the beginning of summer and has a flowering peak from April through to September. The original trees introduced to Hawai`i had white flowers with yellow centers, however subsequently trees with red flowers have also been introduced. Breeding programs have crossed trees with different colored flowers to produce a wide range of color varieties of this species: red, pink, or white flowers can be seen with flowers frequently either a single color or with a yellow or pink splash of color in the center. The flowers produce nectar which has a strong lemon scent. The fruit of this species is a dry follicle which splits along one side to release many winged seeds.
Plumeria rubra is native to continental tropical America though it is now widely cultivated throughout the world in tropical regions.
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The latex of Plumeria has been utilized in tropical regions for medicine for the treatment of itches, swellings, and fevers.
In the Guinas medicines are produced from P. rubra for the treatment of skin eruptions and abscesses, dysentery, herpes, syphilis, coughs and as a purgative.
Disclaimer:This information provided above is not intended to be used as a guide for treatment of medical conditions using plants.