Frangipani flowers are the most famous flower of Hawaii (in lei decorations as fragrant necklaces for visitors). I have seen frangipani flowers in gardens and parks in Singapore, Dubai, China and around the world. But Plumeria rubra is native to Guatemala and adjacent countries.
In two excellent books on PLUMERIA, by capable experienced gardeners and Plumeria enthusiasts, Guatemala is neither featured not even mentioned. Maya culture and role of Plumeria rubra in Maya culture is nowhere even introduced whatsoever.
Our goal is to rescue the presence of Plumeria in Guatemala so that people can come to Guatemala and experience the WILD flowering plant out in the beautiful hills of biodiverse habitats throughout this part of Central America.
By coincidence, in front of the painted rock outcrop of “Vuelta del Quetzal,” Palin municipio of departamento Escuintla has several wild Plumeria rubra trees above it. Anibal kindly shared his photo of this from May. And when I saw it, I immediately drove to this location in Guatemala and took my own photos. Sadly the heavy rains had contributed to almost no more flowers. So we need to return in early May 2024 to rescue the national botanical patrimony of Guatemala and show the world this location for a great selfie. Plus we have just finished driving over 2,500 kilometers in recent weeks to photograph Plumeria rubra, out in the wild, in an unexpected variety of ecosystems: dry cactus-filled desert-like bosque seco/monte espinoso areas, inside pine forests high on steep hills, and here in Palin area on steep hills but very humid (and no cacti and no pines surrounding this area).
Flor de mayo, flor de la cruz, or mirasol are a few of the local names for Plumeria rubra.