Many people associate the word rubra (roo-bra) with the colour red. Maybe there is a linguistic or historical connection or maybe it just sounds like ruby, a red gemstone.
Either way, the Frangipani rubra species has many flower variations which are grouped into pink. yellow, cream (or white), orange and also red
The hardiest of frangipanis is the species known as plumeria rubra (also known as frangipani rubra). Frangipani rubra varieties come in a range of flower colours including the traditional white with yellow throat, pink and orange.
Almost all frangipanis in Sydney are frangipani rubra. Frangipani rubra grow well in the coastal areas and the residential areas of Sydney.
Frangipanis do not like the cold and winter morning frost can damage and kill frangipani plants. If you are hoping to grow a frangipani in Melbourne, Adelaide, Western Sydney or rural Sydney, you need to select a hardy rubra and choose the position most protected from winter frosts.
Some frangipani rubras are more delicate. These tend to be the ones with the dark flowers such as red and Kimberley Sunset.
The native frangipani is not part of the frangipani genus. It’s the sole species in the Hymenosporum genus and is related to the Pittosporum genus.
The botanical name for the native frangipanis is Hymenosporum flavum
It’s native to Queensland, New South Wales and New Guinea.
It can grow up to 20 metres tall but more commonly grows to around 8 metres.
The strength of fragrance of frangipani flowers usually varies according to the weather, the season and even the time of day or night so its difficult to compare them.
Frangipani Rubra – Amongst the rubra species, all of our white, yellow, pink and orange varieties produce flowers which can produce a powerful scent. The exception is the red varieties which usually have a mild scent. Some frangipani rubras have a mild or unnoticeable scent but we do NOT stock and do NOT sell them.
Frangipani Obtusa – The Singapore flower often produces a beautiful and strong frangrance. The Petite Pink has a mild fragrance at best.
Frangipani Pudica – The pink flower is scented but the white is not. The white pudica is a hardier plant and has thicker foliage.
Other Species – Other species such as the frangipani stenophylla, the frangipani caracasana, the frangipani serifolia and the frangipani cubensis have a very mild or no scent at all.
There are hundreds and likely more than a thousand unique frangipani flowers.
Plumeria rubra (aka Plumeria acuminata and Plumeria acutifolia),
The Plumeria rubra is the most common frangipani species in Australia. The second most common frangipani is the Plumeria obtusa, which is rare in the colder south and more common in the warmer north. The Plumeria pudica, however, has become very popular in recent years and is arguable the second most popular frangipani species in Australia, more so in the south.