Champa – Kali a.k.a. Frangipani

Plumeria or Frangipani (common name) or Champa as its referred to in India,  is native to the tropical Americas but now can be found in India, south-east Asia,  and even Africa.

Plumeria releases its fragrance at night the most; this is done to lure in the Sphinx moths – the pollinators. The flowers have no nectar, but the moths are duped by the heady fragrance and flit from flower to flower in search of nectar; thereby helping in pollination.

The flowers range from white, white with yellow centres and a gorgeous deep pink with yellow hearts.

This exotic bloom finds mentions in many myths, lores, traditions and even literature.

In the Pacific islands, the flowers are used to create the traditional “leis”. The flower and its tree is generally associated with ghosts and death in several parts of south east Asia including India. Its not used as a temple offering in India and most Hindu temples in Asia (except Bali, I think).

I simply adore the flower for its beautiful shape and colours; not to mention the erotic fragrance. There is a superstition associated with it to grow it in the house in India. But its grown outside, especially in temple courtyards in most parts of the country.

This exotic flower finds favour with spas and beauty saloons; its used in water bodies to create a soothing effect. Its quite a photogenic flower and used extensively in photoshoots in the Hospitality sector.

2 thoughts on “Champa – Kali a.k.a. Frangipani

  1. Beautifully written, there is so much information that I did not know about, although this is one of my fav flowers. Thanks Shalz…. great pics too….

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