Common name: White Frangipani, Singapore frangipani • Bengali: Kathgolop • Hindi: गुलचीन Gulchin, चम्पा Champa • 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