Common Name Champa, Frangipani
Botanical Name Plumeria rubra
Local Name
Native/Non Native Non Native
Origin Tropical America
Location at Holy Family Church Near the sacristy

(These photographs are authentic captures from the Holy Family Church campus, portraying the scenic splendour of the place.)

The Frangipani, also known as Champa, is a small deciduous tree that grows up to 9 meters tall (approx 16 to 30 feet) and is native to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

It has fragrant flowers that appear in clusters at the tip of the branch and are usually bisexual. They bloom in colors of white, pink or red with yellow at the center, but the tree on the Holy Family Church premises has a combination of pink and white, with a yellow center.

Frangipanis are propagated through seed germination and stem cuttings. They are very hardy plants that are heat, draught and salt tolerant.During winter, the tree looses all its leaves for a short while, until spring.

It is commonly grown in temples and other places of worship as it represents love and immortality as it continues to produce leaves and flowers even after being uprooted.

Although it was used as a traditional medicinal herb to cure cardiovascular disorders, researchers have found out that ingesting the flowers or leaves could irritate the digestive tract since it is mildly poisonous. The sap of the tree affects the eyes and can also cause dermatitis.

It gained its name 'Frangipani' after an Italian fragrance created by Marquis Frangipani in the 16th Century. It gained its scientific name Plumeria in the 17th Century after Charles Plumier, a French botanical explorer who travelled the world and documented thousands of plants and animals.

It is the national tree of Laos where it is considered sacred and is therefore, planted in the courtyard of every Buddhist temple. In Nicaragua, it is considered as the national flower that features on some bank notes.

It is said that Catholic missionaries were the ones who spread these plants wherever they travelled all over the world. This is the main reason why these plants were highly prominent in Thailand and the Philippines as compared to China and Vietnam, where Christian were persecuted until the 1850s.

IMPORTANT: The information on this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference books. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Readers should always consult their physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

--- Click here for information about other trees on Holy Family Church campus ---