Kenya Natural History Guide >>> Plants >>> Apocynaceae >>> Frangipani



Frangipani, Plumeria sp., from Kitale, Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed on the grounds of the Kitale Club, Kitale, Kenya. April 2011. Notice that the leaves and flowering structures are free of insect feeding activity.

Frangipani has attracted the attention of tropical horticulturists everywhere. The leaves are dark green, shiny and mostly evergreen. Bright, large flowers appear more-or-less year round, and they are fragrant. These medium to large-sized shrubs are not native to Kenya. There are several species from the American tropics and varieties and hybrids have been planted in Kenya and elsewhere. Natve Kenyan insects normally cannot live on exotic plants like frangipani. However, Kenya has some related dogbanes and so insects that normally feed on native dogbanes might occasionally find harbor on frangipani. Most members of the dogbane family are laced with power plant toxins that will poison herbivores that do not possess the necessary metabolic antidotes.

Apocynaceae -- Dogbane Family

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Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 04 November 2011