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Flowers of the Eastern Cape:no 4 Frangipani (Plumeria)

Updated on January 16, 2013
Frangipani in full bloom
Frangipani in full bloom | Source
Our own tree, a suitable hideway for ghosts?
Our own tree, a suitable hideway for ghosts? | Source
Shade of  Pink
Shade of Pink | Source
Reddish Colour
Reddish Colour | Source

Of Ghosts and Vampires

While not endemic to the Eastern Cape the flowering shrub/tree with its pretty flowers is found in gardens and parks in the area. A native of Central and South America it is found today in most tropical and subtropical areas including the Caribbean, the Philippines and Malaysia.

In some cultures it is considered to have links with Vampires and is also said to provide shelter for Ghosts and Demons. It is often grown in cemeteries and in Buddhist and Hindu cultures it is found in temple areas.

The flowers give off a pleasant scent, especially at night, and this attracts moths that pollinate the flowers. The moths search in vain for the nectar that they normally feed on because the flowers have none.

In the modern Polynesian culture the women wear these flowers to show their matrimonial status. Worn on the right ear indicates that they are looking for a relationship while if worn on the left ear it indicates that they are taken.

In our garden hopefully is keeps the Ghosts out of the house and if Audrey wears one on her ear I am certain it will be on her left ear.



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    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Thank you for the kind words.

    • Gill Harris profile image

      Gill Harris 4 years ago from South Africa

      Nicely written and interesting! Thanks. Interesting how many little gestures, for example a simple flower behind the ear can have quite intense meaning in different cultures.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This was great information and easy to read. Good job!