Frangipani (Plumeria spp)
Usage / Preparation
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"Kembang Kamboja" in Indonesia, "Temple Tree" or "Champa" in India, "Kalachuchi" in the Philippines, "Araliya" or "Pansal Mal" in Sri Lanka, "Champa" in Laos, "Lantom" or "Leelaawadee" in Thai, "Cacalloxochitl" in Nahuatl.
Frangipani's rich, heady, exotic scent has a deep expansive quality which encourages a sensual almost provocative response.
Frangipani is particularly valued for its emotionally uplifting properties. It soothes many emotional problems and can help those who working through psychological blockages associated with love and sexual fulfilment. It is thought to restore inner peace and harmony which guides one to honour the sacred in intimacy. Frangipani's nature is to remind us of the beauty of our soul's infinite journey.
Frangipani, also known as Plumera, is one of the most delightful members of the Apocynacea or Dogbane family. Its delicate, silken flowers appear in a myriad of variation and its enchanting fragrance can be described as the mother of all perfumes - it is nectar for the Gods. In India, Bali and other tropical countries it is indeed held sacred and present at every ceremony. But most of all it is sacred to Krishna. Frangipani trees are frequently planted in temple grounds, which has earned them the name "Pagoda trees". In India, they are also often planted near graves and revered as a "Tree of Life" that symbolizes the eternal life of the soul. The Maya of Central America also hold this tree sacred. The red and white varieties represent the sun and the moon respectively. Shamans use the flower water of Frangipani as an offering to the Gods. In Mexico, the Nahuatl (Aztec language) name for this plant is "cacalloxochitl" which means "crow flower." It was used for many medicinal purposes such as salves and ointments.
In several Pacific islands, such as Tahiti, Fiji, Hawaii, Tonga and the Cook Islands Plumeria is used for making leis. In modern Polynesian culture, it can be worn by women to indicate their relationship status - over the right ear if seeking a relationship, and over the left if taken.
Frangipani received its name from a perfume invented by the Marquis Frangipani, Marechal des Armees of Louis XIII of France. It was composed of every spice known until Plumeria (Frangipani) was discovered. The scent of Frangipani was the perfect perfume, a million times better than all other scents put together. Henceforth, the perfume was made from Frangipani and the tree was named after the Marquis.
Plumeria is related to the Oleander, Nerium oleander, and both possess poisonous, milky sap, rather similar to that of Euphorbia. Each of the separate species of Plumeria bears differently shaped leaves and their form and growth habits are also distinct. The leaves of P. alba are quite narrow and corrugated, while leaves of P. pudica have an elongated oak shape and glossy, dark green color. P. pudica is one of the everblooming types with non-deciduous, evergreen leaves. Another species that retains leaves and flowers in winter is P. obtusa.
Plumeria flowers are most fragrant at night in order to lure sphinx moths to pollinate them. The flowers have no nectar, and simply dupe their pollinators. The moths inadvertently pollinate them by transferring pollen from flower to flower in their fruitless search for nectar.
Plumeria species are easily propagated by taking a cutting of leafless stem tips in Spring and allowing them to dry at the base before inserting them into soil. They are also propagated via tissue culture both from cuttings of freshly elongated stems and aseptically germinated seed.(1)
(1) Plumeria, Wikipedia
|Plumeria is a small genus of 7-8 species, which are native to tropical and subtropical Americas and have spread to all tropical areas of the world. Plumeria produces strongly fragrant flowers which are used in some expensive perfumes. The flowers are also important symbols in many cultures. Frangipani is known as the Tree of Life in India as a branch cut from the tree will continue to blossom and will grow into a new tree when placed in the ground. Frangipani was a favourite flower of Lord Krishna.|