Friday, March 23, 2012

Pink Kalachuchi

 
Kalachuchi, Frangipani, Plumeria, Temple Flower, Flor de Mayo

Kalachuchi is a small, deciduous tree, 3 to 7 meters high, with a crooked trunk, smooth and shiny stems, succulent with abundant sticky, milky latex that can irritate skin and eyes. It is related to Oleander and there are more than 300 species.  This flowering tree is a South American native, brought over by the Spaniards from Mexico.  Plumeria flowers are most fragrant at night to lure moths to pollinate them.  The common name "Frangipani" comes from an Italian noble family, a 16th century marquess who invented a plumeria-scented perfume.  

The bark, leaves and flowers are used in folk medicine--considered anti-inflammatory, diuretic, induces menstrual flow, reduces fever, purgative.  In Java and Madera, boiled bark is used to treat venereal disease; in Yucatan, latex is used for toothache, decoction of flowers is used for diabetics in Mexico.  Source


In local folklore, Kalachuchi is often associated with ghosts and graveyard as they are often planted in cemeteries, flowers are used in sympathy wreaths.  The scent of plumeria has been associated with a vampire in Malay folklore, the pontianak (tiyanak in the Philippines) while Balinese Hindus use the flowers in their temple offerings.  In several Pacific Islands, plumerias are 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.  And on both ears if it's complicated---I made that up.*LoL*


"To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat."         ~ Beverly Nichols





16 comments:

NixBlog said...

What beautiful captures of this magnificent flower, Miranda!

Thank you for your participation in Floral Friday Fotos!

Libby Rodriguez said...

Wow! These are so exotic! I have never seen petals that swirled like that...thanks for showing them to us :) Also, the photography, itself, is really well done!

Lindy MacDuff said...

"And on both ears if it's complicated---I made that up.*LoL*"

You have a great sense of humor!
The flowers are beautiful. I remember seeing them in Hawaii many years ago. I had no idea there were so many varied uses for the plant.

FloralFridayDaffodils

Modern Mom said...

Gorgeous shots Luna.

Orange Cluster

nuts said...

beautiful capture of plumeria! what i like best with this flower is the sweet scent especially during night time.

Photo Cache said...

i am now appreciating this flower more that i'm so far away from it.

Ebie said...

She's like a young lady, just coming out and blooming beautifully!

Love its sweet scent!

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Beautiful flower.

Regards and best wishes

Ann said...

Frangipani or grave yard flower, Singapore, Malaysia people think just like you.

I saw a small Frangipani plant in a pot, and thought of your older post. I risk the owner scolding me, and went to their garden and snap the photo. Post it next time.

JM said...

Fantastic! One of my favourite flowers shot beautifully.

Karin M. said...

Gorgeous shots....
Greetings Karin

Carver said...

Fascinating post and gorgeous flowers. Thanks for all the information.

Carletta said...

That third picture is exquisite!
Your shot fits beautifully with this template. :)

Lui said...

Haha! 'Pointianak" was totally hilarious and yes complicated is the buzzword.

Oh but I love Kalachuchi.
Seeing them made me think of the dead and how wonderful they smell! ;-)

Laerte Pupo said...

Beautiful post.

Indrani said...

Very informative.
Next time I should be careful if I put that flower on my head. ;)