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Plumeria rubra


Plumeria rubra

Family Name: Apocynaceae
Synonyms: Plumeria acuminata
Common Name: Frangipani, Common Frangipani, Kemboja, Bunga Kubur, Red Frangipani, Nosegay Frangipani, Chempaka, Pagoda Tree, Camboja


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Small (6m-15m), Shrubby (1m-5m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Vase, Open
Maximum Height 8 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 8 m to 10 m


Native Distribution Tropical Americas (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Others - Plant Morphology Small tree, up to 8m height. Leaves thick and leathery. Free-flowering. Flowers showy, fragrant, attract pollinators (Spinx Moths) but without nectar reward. Flower colour varies with cultivar.Cut surfaces of plant produce poisonous milky sap. Propagate by seeds, or hardwood cuttings (allow cut end to dry for several days before inserting into media).Ideal tree for small gardens and roof gardens. Genus named after French botanist Charles Plumier, who explored New World tropics.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Fragrant (Flowers) (Time Independent, Day), Ornamental Flowers
Landscape Uses General, Suitable for Roadsides, Skyrise / Balcony, Container Planting, Coastal
Thematic Landscaping Fragrant / Aromatherapy Garden, Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment
Usage Hazard - Cons Irritant - Sap
Usage Hazard - Cons Remarks Poisonous milky sap on cut surfaces of plant

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Flowers attracts and are pollinated by Spinx Moths, but do not produce nectar reward., Insects (Butterfly, Moth))
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Explosive Dehiscence)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Drought Tolerant
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Pruning Requires pruning for strong structure and remove drooping branches as tree gets older.
Diseases Common pests include scales, caterpillars, nematodes. Root rot can infect plants planted in poorly-drained soils.
Pest(s) Associated with, Nematodes, Sucking Insects
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting
Propagule Establishment Remarks Hardwood cuttings need to be dried for several days before potting in well-drained media. Leafy tip cuttings should be potted immediately.
Propagation Method Remarks Hardwood stem cuttings, leafy tip cuttings
Planting Distance 8 m to 10 m


Foliage Retention Deciduous
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny, Leathery, Thick
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Orange
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate, Oval, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 2.5 (Tree - Open Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root, Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow / Golden
Flower Symmetry Radial
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flowering Opening Time Time-Independent
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Black, Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Dehiscent Dry Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 1781
Species ID 3074
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 06 March 2023.