Plumeria rubra and its hybrids are the most widely-grown of the Plumeria species. They come in a wide range of colors and the blooms are generally very fragrant. Each inflorescence may contain between 50 and 200 buds which open a few at a time over several weeks or months.
Flower clusters often appear with the onset of new growth in the spring and may continue to emerge on new growth throughout the growing season. Individual flowers are 2-3 inches in diameter, with some varieties being more prolific bloomers than others. Flowering of all varieties is best in full sun, but the plants do tolerate partial shade.
Plumerias are native to tropical America, but are now grown in warm climates world-wide. In frost-free areas, plants may grow up to 30 feet tall with a nearly equal spread. In climates where freezes occur every few years, plants seldom reach more than 10-12 feet. These plants are recommended for USDA Zones 9b-11, but can easily be grown in containers in colder zones. Plumeria rubra branches are thick and stubby with persistent leaf scars.
There is a very obvious delineation between this year's new green growth and last year's grayish stem.
Leaves are large (often more than a foot long) and pointed on the end.
This species drops its leaves completely in the winter. All plant parts exude a milky sap when cut, which may irritate the skin of sensitive individuals.
In some areas, Plumerias are commonly known as Frangipani.