Plant of the Month

Plumeria or Frangipani

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Plumeria or Frangipani

Beautiful Plumeria Tree The frangipani and Plumeria give on the true sense of the tropics. They are highly regarded world wide for their beautiful blooms and their frangrant sent. To pick a single or multiple blooms to carry with you or place around the house gives the room a sense of relaxation. Most common are the white and yellow blossoms, but the variety of sunset and tropical colors become prevalent the closer you get to the equator. Know for their durability, frangipani can survive neglect, drought and heat while remaining to fill the yard with their wonderful fragrance. They are apropriate for most any yard. Frangipani History Frangipani or plumeria is know throughout the world in many cultures by various names and each with their own specific myths and individual history. Best known as coming from to Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America as far south as Brazil. Origin of the name Plumeria or Frangipani The genus, originally spelled Plumeria, is named in honor of the seventeenth-century French botanist Charles Plumier, who traveled to the  New World documenting many plant and animal species. The common name “frangipani” comes from a sixteenth- century marquess of the noble family in Italy who invented a plumeria-scented perfume. Many English speakers also simply use the generic name “plumeria MORE CLICK HERE Plumeria in Culture and Myth In southeastern Asia plumeria are now common naturalised plants. Believed by locals to provide homes for demons and ghosts. Malay folklore, the pontianak; They are associated with temples in both Hindu and Buddhist cultures. frangipani trees are often planted in cemeteries. Throughout the Pacific islands of Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand, Tonga, and the Cook Islands Plumeria species are used for making leis. Nicaragua and Laos, the name is Sacuanjoche and Bengali culture mostly white flowers, and, in particular, plumeria are associated with funerals and death. Philippines and Indonesia, Plumeria, is associated with ghosts and graveyards. Plumerias often are planted on cemetery grounds in both countries. They are also common ornamental plants in houses, parks, parking lots, etc. in the Philippines. Balinese Hindus use the flowers in their temple offerings. Indian incenses containing Plumeria have “Champa” in their name, for example Nag Champa Plumeria is not a champa OR its aroma is not similar, but Indian incense having Halmaddi (Alianthus malabarica) resins produce Plumeria-like aroma, which is the main ingredient of Nagchampa incense. Hindu mythology, is replete with many different stories...

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Milo Tree

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Milo Tree

MILO – Thespesia Populnea The Milo Tree is part of the Mallow genus or Malvaceae. It is comprised of eighteen species in the genus. Without getting too technical, it’s main characteristic is it’s durability to withstand the environment and the seed to withstand the salt of the sea in it’s ocean voyage throughout the Pacific Islands.   Though the name come from Greek thespesios or devine it is known by the generic name Thespesia referring to T. populnea, When Captain Cook was collecting plants in the Pacific this is one of his collected plants from Tahiti where is was considered sacred and was found around places of worship. The term populnea, poplar-like, was used in regards to its leaves similar to poplar trees.   Hawaiian Name: Milo The name references its twist, curl and spin of the trunk and limbs. This name is also used in the Marshall Islands and American Samoa The fruits and seeds are salt tolerant and are distributed island to island by sea. The seeds will germinate even after a year in seawater. This has made them  a prime candidate for proliferation among the islands of the Pacific. Used over the centuries with wide variety of function, from containers to implements.  It has stood the test of time.  Milo in History Though in the past the milo was used mostly by the ancient Hawai’i chiefs for their furnishings and jewelry. Surrounding the home of King Kamehameha were many milo trees. Though today it is less common than in ancient times, it is a great shade plant to have around houses close to the sunnier coast line. It thrives in loose soil and grows better on the lowlands than it does in the central island mountain forests. Early Polynesian settlers carried the seeds with them on their voyages. The Milo is a fast growing plant that was used in Tahiti around the temples, said to be spiritually important and involved with chants and prayers. Not only is this plant found in Polynesia dn Micronesia, but also in tropical Africa. Milo tree is part of the Hibiscus family and used for it’s bark fiber for cordage. The many uses of the milo tree from die, oils, medicine and gum from various parts of the plant made it a main stay of the culture for centuries. Used for poi bowls and calbashes, the milo tree was a daily used...

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Buying the right Plant

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Buying the right Plant

March Plant tip – Buying the right plant We know buying the right plant can be difficult. Are you tired of buying those beautiful bromeliads at the nursery or hardware store with the tall flower and then taking it home and finding it dead within a month. Try the Sheba! It is a smaller Bromeliad that is more sun and drought tolerant than most other Bromeliads though it does great in 50% shade too. They are variegated green and white with a red center. They do not quite have a tall flower like some of the rest, but not only will this plant live for the long term, it propagates very quickly and can create a great mid-range height ground cover in no time....

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