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In the Magazine

Native Frangipani

In the Garden > Trees and Palms

Native Frangipani

This Australian rainforest tree is commonly called the native frangipani, because it produces creamy yellow, frangipani-like flowers with a strong, heady fragrance. It is not related to the exotic frangipani (Plumeria).

Plant details

Common name: Native frangipani

Botanical name: Hymenosporum flavum

Description

An evergreen tree to about 20m (60') tall in cultivation, but larger in its natural habitat. The branches grow in distinct horizontal layers, and the leaves are dark green and glossy with a hairy underside. The strongly scented flowers are whitish cream aging to deep yellow, followed by pear-shaped woody capsules containing winged seeds.

Best climate

Most areas of Australia, worth a try in coastal areas of Tasmania. perfumed, creamy flowers attractive, layered branching pattern attracts honey-eating birds and butterflies

Downside

fails to grow well in some parts of Australia the branches are brittle are can be damaged by strong winds

Care

Native frangipani likes a position in full sun to dappled shade, with protection from strong winds. This tree performs very well in the alkaline soils of Adelaide, so if you live in an area with neutral to acid soil, Don suggested applying a small amount of lime.

Getting started

Native frangipani can be difficult to find - you may need to order from your local native nursery. There is also a variety available with variegated leaves, and a smaller growing shrubby form possibly due for release next year.

Copyright CTC Productions 2001


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