By Wayne Danielson

Plumeria are one of the more beautiful and fragrantexotic flowering trees in the world. Also known asfrangipani, the name exudes fragrance; indeed, many perfumes are made of plumeria extract. Oneof the world's most memorable symbols of one of the world's most exotic locations is made of the plumeria blossom-the Hawaiian lei.

Native toNewWorld trpoics, the genus Plumeria is comprised of seven species and over two hundrednamed cultivars. Blooms come in multitudinous colors andbeginat an early age, sometimes thesame year they are rooted.Innative trpoical regions, the plantcan reach 30-40' high and 15-20' wide.

In cooler regions, the plant can be grown in containers. Evenif the plant is not coldhardy, it is tough. Plumeria can be stored bare root in cold storage and treated much like hardier nursery stock. In early start in asunroom or greenhouse will be necessary to get full bloom by fall.

The widely spaced, succulent leaves are highly sensetive to cool temperatures and may fall off if exposed to them. In late summer, start reducing watering and hold off on fertilizer. This willallow the plant to go dormant. In March,begin fertilizing with high nitrogen and switch to high phosphorus by May. This will induce the prolific blooms that make the plant so special.

The plumeria seed pod is a twin pod, shaped much like abean. When green, the "beans" are held parallel to each other. When ripe, the pods separate and are held at angles resembling the letter Y with eachpod being an arm and the petiole being the stem.

For those over-achievers out there, here is some further information:

As you leave, remember the fragrant floral greeting of Hawaii-the delicate, beautiful, fragile, and exotic plumeria.