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Wednesday, 22-Mar-2006 05:43 Email | Share | Bookmark
KEMBOJA/ PLUMERIA

 
 
 
 
 
 
Plumeria (common name: Frangipani) is a small genus of 7-8 species native to tropical and subtropical America. The genus consist of mainly deciduous shrubs and trees. P. rubra (Common Frangipani, Red Frangipani), native to Central America, Mexico and Venezuela, produces flowers ranging from yellow to pink depending on form or cultivar. The genus is also related to the Oleander, Nerium oleander, both are known to possess poisonous milky sap, rather similar to that of Euphorbia. The name of the genus is actually derived from a seventeenth-century French botanist who traveled to the new world documenting many plant and animal species Charles Plumier (the original spelling of the genus was Plumiera). The common name may vary from place to place, for example, the name is Kembang Kamboja in Indonesia, "Temple Tree" in India, "Champa" in Laos, and "Dead Man's fingers" in Australia. The Australian name is, perhaps, taken from its thin, finger-like, leafless branches.

Each of the separate species bear differently shaped leaves and their form and growth habits are also distinct. The leaves of Plumeria alba are quite narrow and corragated, unlike any other. Leaves of Plumeria pudica are remarkably unique with their elongated oak shape and glossy, dark green color. Pudica is one of the rare everblooming types with non-deciduous, evergreen leaves. Another species that is winter green and bloomful is Plumeria obtusa. Though its common name is "Singapore", it was originally from Colombia.

The flowers are most fragrant at night, in order to lure sphinx moths to pollinate them. Plumeria flowers have no nectar, and simply dupe their pollinators. The flowers are pollinated as the moths inadvertently transfer pollen from flower to flower in their fruitless search for nectar.

Plumerias are easily propagated by taking a ripe cutting of leafless stem tips in spring and allowing them to dry at the base before inserting them into soil. They are propagated via tissue culture both from cuttings of freshly elongated stems and via aseptically germinated seed.

They are now common naturalised plants in southern and southeastern Asia, and in local folk beliefs provide shelter to ghosts and demons. In Hawaii they are used for making leis. They are associated with temples in both Hindu and Buddhist cultures though Hindus do not use the flowers in their temple offerings
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dipetik dari : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plumeria


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