Growing Wild

Holiday in Hawaii #20

When we travel, I like to buy charms for my charm bracelet – it’s a simple way to remember the wonderful places we’ve been to. In Hawaii I found the perfect bead. Its circlet of flowers was reminiscent of a beautiful lei, made of the flowers of the frangipani tree. When I told the shop assistant I love frangipanis, she corrected me. “These are plumeria,” she said. I was confused – I’d always thought leis were made from frangipani flowers.

Later, as we walked through the mall, I pointed to a frangipani tree in the garden and asked Marsha what it was called. “Plumeria,” she said. Mystery solved! Plumeria = frangipani; the same flower with two names.

The scientific name Plumeria honours the 17th century botanist Charles Plumier, who studied the plant species of the New World, while the common name Frangipani refers to a 16th century Italian who invented a plumeria-scented perfume.

We saw frangipanis blooming everywhere in Hawaii: in the gardens of historic missionary homes, between the headstones in churchyards, and adorning the monuments at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

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And I have a frangipani lei on my bracelet!

See more beautiful wildflowers at Jude’s Garden Photography Challenge

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39 thoughts on “Growing Wild

    • Yes, the charms are easy to fit in the suitcase! We have bought tree ornaments too and it’s nice to get them out each year and remember where we bought them. When we were in Bruges, we went to a Christmas shop and decided we would buy an ornament. That was until we looked at the prices. They were all hand blown glass, very beautiful and upwards of 30 euros – double that for Australian dollars. We left them there!

  1. Now I’d like to see a photo (or several 🙂 ) of the bracelet! It’s a lovely idea. I used to collect plates but they’re a bit heavy strung round your wrist. Postcards are easier and I still indulge the odd one.
    There’s a lovely one we often stroll past in Tavira, and I always cross over the road for a closer look.

  2. Great photos. Only know the flowers by plumeria. Now I know the other name. Love the fragrance of these flowers also. Thanks for sharing. Really enjoy your photos and stories about Hawaii. Hope you return soon for the pineapple charm.

    • Here in Australia, we only call them frangipani. I’m glad you’re enjoying Hawaii. We loved it and I would very much like to return one day. It’s a good stopping point between North America and Australia so there is always a possibility we will go there again.

  3. Frangipani flowers are really beautiful and the scent is wonderful. WEtreid several times to grow one in Johannesburg but they didn’t like the winters. Maybe I’d have more luck in Florida. 🙂

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