Virtual International Plumeria Society

Non-English Plumeria Names

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Italian: Nome comune: Pomelia; Frangipane.

Tahiti - Tipanier

St.Barths Bois Couleuvre, or Snake Tree

Malaysian Name : Kemboja kuning

Religous Plumeria rubra or Frangipani Tree or Mary's Flower. Plumaria rubra acut. W.Indian Jasmine or Flower of the Cross

Pansal Mal -(Temple Flower) - Sri Lanka

Jepun - Bali, Indonesia

Some other common names are
Flor de Mayo ( Yucatan, Puebla, El Salvador)
Flor de la Cruz (Guatemala)
Pumeli or Melia (Hawaii)
Amapola (Venezuela)
Temple Tree or Pagoda Tree (India and the Far East)
Graveyard Tree (Caribbean Islands)


Love your page!  Here in Puerto Rico we call plumeria alba "Alelí".  Regards, -Kevina M. Gallagher-

My daughter is named Elilai, which means plumeria in Palauan (the language of the Palau islands aka Republic of Belau).  Actually I think the Palauan spelling is a bit different, something like Chelilai -- but I couldn't do that to the kid.  Elilai was strange enough! Best wishes, Anne Geyer 

These are some non-English names :
Chinese :KANG NAI XIN
India    : PHOOL
Vietnamese : HOA SU (Southern ) or HOA DAI (Northern) or HOA SU MA  (ghost Plumeria) from the belief that ghost lives in trees with white and fragrant flowers. (Vietnamese and Chinese use white color in funerals!)   
Plumeria is very rare in China, and even more precious than orchids. Therefore, the young folks came up with an idea: giving Plumeria flowers to a sweetheart ! In a culture where expression of personal feelings is very much prohibited, giving Plumeria flowers to someone is the closest thing to saying; you're special, I love you! In Hindu culture, the flower means LOYALTY. Hindu women put a flower in their hair on their wedding days to show their loyalty to their husbands. In Vietnam, Plumeria is the flower of the educated, Westernized, upper class. There is a theory that the Catholic Fathers spread Plumerias around the world . This theory could be used to explain why Plumeria is so popular and common in the Philippines (Kalachuchi) and Thailand but very rare in China and Vietnam. Thailand and the Philippines welcomed Catholics with open arms right away in the early days. In China and Vietnam, Catholics were persecuted till the French (and other countries) invaded the area in around 1850-60 under the pretext of protecting their citizens. -Lap Huynh-

In some parts of the Canary Islands, plumerias are called "Flor de Cebo", which means "Bait flower", maybe for the scent. In Sicily, it is the flower of the city of Palermo. It is called (all over the island) "Pomelia". -Carlo Morici, Palmetum de Santa Cruz de Tenerife
When I lived in Laos in Southeast Asia, I learned that in the Laotian language, Plumeria is called "Dok Champa" and is regarded as a sacred tree and every Buddhist temple in that country has them planted in their courtyards. In the southern part of Laos there is the province of Champassak, which was once a minor kingdom, and the name is also derived from the sacred plumeria trees "Dok Champa", which grow in the ancient temples there.....many are hundreds of years old and are spectacular, huge, gnarled giants. It is interesting also that the descendents there of the royal family have the surname "Champassak". -jonpen-
I just wanted to shared with you that plumaria is the national flower of Nicaragua and it's "nicaraguan" name is Sacuanjoche. -Harold Morales- (Note: It is also called the May Flower because that is its flowering month. Its name is derived from the word "xacuan" from a native language called náhuatl and means "precious yellow feather or flower."
In Nicaragua (Central America) it is called: 1) Sacuanjoche (a native Nicaraguan name) 2) Flor de leche (Milk flower) 3) Nicaragua (same name as the country) By the way, Plumeria es the national flower of Nicaragua, and it apperas printed on some money notes.
--Flavio Martínez--
I live in the Federated States of Micronesia, which is comprised of four states. Pohnpei, Yap, Kosrae, and Chuuk. I recently did a research on plumerias on Pohnpei and found out the names in all four states which are as follows; Pohnpeian name: Pwohmaria Yapese name: Suwur Kosraen name: For Chuukese name: Seur. -Celeen-

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