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Plumeria Rubra: The Padoga Tree
Plumeria Rubra or Padoga tree is a small beautiful, flowering tree, with a wide variety of flower colors. It is the most commonly seen plumeria in Florida, Southern California and Hawaii. The waxy, long-lasting flowers are sweetly perfumed, making the species a natural for many warm-climate gardens around the world. The blossoms usually appear before the leaves, thus contrasting beautifully against the blue sky. Soon, flowers and foliage come together on the treelet to present an intensely tropical effect. A few pods occasionally follow the flowers. All forms have twisted overlapping corollas, much like blades of a propeller. Flowers of the white and yellow forms appear slightly earlier in the year than the pink form, but their flowering days are generally shorter. The flowers of the tree are stunning and some of the trees can reach 30 ft. The trees have a similar look to the Bronze Loquat in that the leaves are large and arranged in the same pattern. The flowers have very little scent but are stunning to look at and even more so where many are on the tree. Oddly, the tree is home to Latin America and is freeze tolerant as adult plants to 26F! This means they can be grown in most of California coastal regions and inland even as far north as Santa Rosa, 70 miles north of San Francisco.
The trees lose most or all its leaves in late fall and regains them by March or April of the next year. However, a rust fungus causes premature deciduousness. To prevent this, use a fungicide to prevent rust. The trees are pest free most of the time.