White Frangipani, Plumeria obtusa, Plumeria pudica, Kalachuchi, Everlasting Love
Frangipanis originate from South America and there are some 300 species. There is a theory that Catholic missionary priests spread frangipanis around the world as they traveled. The reason why different species are popular and common throughout the Philippines and Thailand, and rare in Vietnam and China. Locally known as kalachuchi, the flowers give off a strong perfume at night to attract hawk moths that pollinate the flowers. This flowering tree loves warm climates and can survive months of hot weather without water. I associate the heady scent of frangipani with death as the flowers were popularly used as sympathy flowers and wreaths at funerals when I was growing up.