Plumeria alba: Classification, Geography, Characteristics, Season and kind of growth, Phytochemical Constituents, and, Uses

Plumeria alba: Classification, Geography, Characteristics, Season and kind of growth, Phytochemical Constituents, and, Uses


There are numerous species of plants in the genus Plumeria (family Apocynaceae) that are found all over the world. Small laticiferous trees or bushes with a distinctive scent that are grown in tropical and subtropical areas make up this genus species. It is mostly cultivated for its beautiful, fragrant flowers. One of the significant species in the genus is Plumeria alba, also known as the temple tree, pigeon wood, caterpillar tree, white frangipani, and pagoda tree. It is a South American native that is renowned for both its fragrant flowers and spiral-shaped blooms. P. alba is typically grown for its aesthetic appeal and fragrant blossoms in landscape settings like gardens and parks. Different components of the white frangipani are employed in traditional medical systems to cure a variety of illnesses, including abdominal tumours, rheumatism, leprosy, and malaria. Skin conditions including scabies, ulcers, and herpes can be effectively treated with the latex of the leaf and stem. Latex is also employed as a purgative, hypotensive, cardiotonic, and diuretic. On hard tumours, its bark is applied as a plaster. Additionally, P. alba’s fruit is edible and its seeds contain hemostatic qualities. The pharmacological properties of plant parts including bark, flowers, leaves, and latex include hepatoprotective, anti-diabetic, anti-tumor, antioxidant, anti-arthritic, anti-fungal, and larvicidal action. P. alba flowers contain analgesic, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. It can also be made into a herbal tea to help with summertime heat. Various bioactive substances found in the flower include limonene, -cedrene, linalool, caryophyllene oxide, glucoside, plumieride coumarate, -sitosterol, kaempferol, quercetin, scopoletin, plumieride, etc. Plumeria flower essential oil is used in a variety of products, including medications, fragrances, incense, and aromatherapy.

Frangipani Plant


Despite being a native of tropical regions, Frangipani grows anywhere there isn’t a frost. The stems and branches are robust and meaty. The tree has a classic V shape. The bark is soft, and when it is cut, white sap that might be irritating develops. The flowers have an exquisite aroma and are formed like huge funnels that are white and yellow in the centre. When flowers fall, the surrounding area may become littered. The plant can withstand salt and some dryness. The strong fragrance of frangipani is well-known. Beautiful, spiral-shaped blossoms that occur at branch tops from June to November. The tree itself has a unique appearance, with its 20-inch-long, coarse, deciduous leaves only clinging to its thick, sausage-like, rough, grey-green limbs at their extremities. With time, the upright, densely packed branches on the trunk take the form of an umbrella or vase. They can break because they are somewhat delicate and brittle, however, they typically


Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Gentianales

Family: Apocynaceae

Genus: Plumeria

Species: P. alba

Scientific Name: Plumeria alba

Common Name(s): White Frangipani, Caterpillar Tree, Pagoda Tree, Pigeon wood, Nosegay Tree.

Native Range: Puerto Rico, Lesser Antilles

Season and kind of growth

1. Plant the white Plumeria in the full summer sun, in a fertile, well-draining location. Although a fertile site is ideal, this tree can take loam, sand, or clay soils and prefers a pH between 6.1 and 7.5.

2. In the absence of rain, periodically water the young white Plumeria. Throughout the growing season, one inch of water each week is sufficient. To prevent the roots of this plant from decaying, do not overwater.

3. Throughout the growing season, feed white Plumeria twice per month. Use an excellent, high-phosphorus, water-soluble fertilizer.


1. Plumeria is a genus of flowering plants in the Apocynaceae family of dogbanes, sometimes known as the frangipani family. Mostly deciduous plants and tiny trees can be found there.

2. Although the blossoms can be cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates, they are native to Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America as far south as Brazil.

3. A native of tropical America, the plumeria alba is a tiny laticiferous tree or shrub.

4. It occasionally grows in the gardens and is 4.5 m tall. The plant is cultivated primarily for its attractive and fragrant blossoms.

5. White Frangipani can develop into a 0.9–6.1 m tall small shrub or tree with thick, widely spaced branches that are frequently coated in “knobby” protuberances.

6. The tips of the branches are where the leaves are gathered. They have a distinctive obovate form, are enormous (between 6 and 22 cm long and 2 to 7 cm wide), and the tip of the leaf is rounded rather than pointed as it is in other species.

7. The leaves have prominent parallel secondary veins that extend from the midvein to the margins of the leaves, and they are dark and leathery with a tendency to be shiny on the upper surface.

8. This species’ flowers are borne on a long, thick stalk in clusters that develop at the ends of the branches. Numerous white blooms with a little golden centre are seen in each inflorescence. Five petals are fused at the base of flowers to form a narrow tube that gradually enlarges as the petals’ lobes spread out.

9. This species’ fruit is a dry follicle that splits along one side to release the winged seeds.

Phytochemical Constituents

P. alba’s bark contains tannins, phenolic compounds, alkaloids, carbohydrates, and flavonoids. Amyrin acetate, a combination of amyrins, ß-sitosterol, scopotetin, the iridoidsiso plumericin, plumieride, plumieride, coumerate, and plumieride coumerate glucoside are said to be present in the plant, which is said to be essential in medicine. Primary alcohols such geraniol, citronellol, farnesol, and phenyl ethyl alcohol make up the majority of the flower oil, along with a little amount of linalool. Quercetin and kaempferol are present in the flowers.

Frangipani Flowers


Different parts of P. alba were thought to be effective against several illnesses, including leprosy, rheumatism, abdominal tumours, and malaria. Herpes, scabies, and ulcers are treated using the milky sap of the stem and leaves. The seeds aid in hemostasis, the seeds are used as a plaster over hard tumours, and the latex is used as a purgative, cardiotonic, diuretic, and hypotensive. Additionally, P. alba is used to treat herpes, scabies, and ulcers, and its seeds have hemostatic qualities. Over strong tumours, the bark is bruised and used as plaster.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the common name of Plumeria alba?

Ans: Caterpillar tree, pagoda tree, pigeon wood, nosegay tree, white frangipani

Question: How poisonous is Plumeria alba?

Ans: Yes All parts

Question: Can plumeria be propagated via cuttings?

Ans: Yes, primarily from seeds.

Question: Where does the alba Plumeria grow?

Ans: Brazil to Mexico and the Caribbean are all in tropical America.

Question: Is Plumeria a Medicinal plant?

Ans: Yes

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