Plumeria (common name Frangipani) is a small genus of 7-8 species that grow in tropical and subtropical Americas. The genus consists of mainly deciduous shrubs and trees. P. rubra (Common Frangipani, Red Frangipani), that grows in Mexico, Central America, and Venezuela, produces flowers ranging from yellow to pink. From Mexico and Central America, Plumeria has spread to all tropical areas of the world, especially Hawaii, where it grows so abundantly that many people think that it is native there.
Plumeria flowers are most fragrant at night in order to lure sphinx moths to pollinate them. The flowers yield no nectar, however, and simply dupe their pollinators. The moths inadvertently pollinate them by transferring pollen from flower to flower in their fruitless search for nectar.
Photographed on Maui, Hawaii, USA
June 15th, 2012
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