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PlantFiles: The Largest Plant Identification Reference Guide - Dave's Garden

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  The Latin word of the week  
Plumeria
(ploo-MEER-ee-a)

Charles Plumier was a Franciscan monk and botanist who created detailed illustrations of the plants he found on a trip to several islands in the West Indies in the late 1600s. He studied Plumeria and introduced it into cultivation in Europe. There are hundreds of cultivated varieties and several wild species in this genus.

In some areas, the Plumeria is more commonly known as frangipani, which is the English derivative of the French name, Frangipanier. An older common name for the plant is "nosegay" - an appropriate name for the fragrant blooms.

Plumier's work also revived the ancient custom of naming an entire genus of plants (not just individual species) after persons. In addition to the self-named Plumeria, he honored other botanists and herbalists with commemorative names for dozens of plants he discovered, including familiar names such as Magnolia, Fuchsia, Maranta, Ruellia, and Bromelia.

  The Plant of the Week  
Nosegay
Plumeria rubra

Plumeria rubra is a tropical or subtropical shrub native to the Americas. Named in honor of the seventeenth-century French botanist, Charles Plumier, who botanized Mexico and the Caribbean Basin. From there, the plants were spread throughout tropical climates of the world and are quite popular among the islands of the Pacific. Plumeria blossoms are used to make the traditional leis offered to travelers when they visit Hawaii.

The flowers produce the strongest fragrance in the evening to attract the night-flying insects for pollination. They produce no nectar, so the insects visit multiple flowers in their futile attempt to locate nectar, thus pollinating the plumeria. The shrubs can reach as much as 40 feet (12 meters) and prefer well-drained, sandy soil mixed with peat, and at least four hours of sunshine each day. Plumerias can be quite happy as pruned container plants as well. Easily propagated by cuttings, the lovely flowers range from deep pink, to white and yellow.

» Read more about this plant

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Image

Type of plant: Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Bloom color: Pale Pink, Pink, Red, Pale Yellow, Brown/Bronze

Bloom time of year: Late Winter/Early Spring

Sun requirements: Sun to Partial Shade

Cold hardiness: Zone 10a to Zone 11

Height: 15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

Spacing: 12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

  Bloom of the Day for July 14, 2014  
Image

Hybrid Perpetual Rose 'Souvenir du Dr. Jamain'
(Rosa)

Type of plant: Shrubs, Vines and Climbers

Bloom color: Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Bloom time of year: Late Spring/Early Summer, Mid Summer, Late Summer/Early Fall, Mid Fall, Blooms repeatedly

Sun requirements: Light Shade, Partial to Full Shade

Cold hardiness: Zone 4b to Zone 10b

Height: 4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m), 6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m), 8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Spacing: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

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