White Frangipani
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White Frangipani
ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: White Frangipani, Singapore frangipani • Bengali: Kathgolop • Hindi: गुलचीन Gulchin, चम्पा Champa • Kannada: ದೇವಕಣಗಿಲೆ Deva kanagile, ಬೆಟ್ಟದಕಣಗಿಲೆ Bettada kanagile, ಕಾಡುಸಂಪಿಗೆ Kaadu sampige • Manipuri: ꯈꯒꯤ ꯂꯩꯍꯥꯑꯣ Khagi-leihao
Botanical name: Plumeria obtusa    Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)
Synonyms: Plumeria nivea, Plumeria emarginata

White Frangipani can grow as either a small shrub or tree ranging in height from 0.9-6.1 m with widely spaced thick succulent branches that are often covered with "knobby" protuberances. The leaves are clustered near the tips of the branches. They are large, 6-22 cm long, 2-7 cm wide, and have a characteristic obovate shape and the tip of the leaf is rounded, rather than pointed as it is in other species. The leaves are dark and leathery and tend to be shiny on the upper surface with conspicuous parallel secondary veins that run from the midvein to the margins of the leaves. The flowers of this species are borne in clusters that form at the ends of the branches on a long thick stalk. Each inflorescence contains many white flowers with a small yellow center. Flowers contain five petals that are fused at the base in a short funnel-shaped tube which gradually widens as the lobes of the petals are spread out. The fruit of this species is a dry follicle which splits along one side to release the winged seeds. Plumeria obtusa is native to the Bahamas and the Greater Antilles in Central America. It is widely cultivated in tropical climates including eastern Africa, Asia.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Delhi.

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