July 11, 2020

Egg Yolk Flower Tree

Plumeria or frangipani

Alison Wherrett Photo | Plumeria or frangipani in the Sydney, Australia, Chinese Garden

Frangipani blossoms

Alison Wherrett Photo | Frangipani blossoms in the Sydney, Australia, Chinese Garden

Photographer Alison Wherrett took these pictures in Australia in January 2012 in Sydney’s Chinese Garden, an appropriate spot to photograph what the Chinese call the egg yolk flower tree. Plumeria is a small family, with just 7 or 8 species (you’d think someone would know for sure which it is) that are not native to Australia, but the Americas. However, the plant is now naturalized in Asia and the Pacific islands, including Hawaii, where it is probably best known as the lei flower. According to Wikipedia, “Plumeria flowers are most fragrant at night in order  to lure sphinx moths to pollinate them. The flowers have no nectar, and simply dupe their pollinators.”