plumeria flower meaning

Surprising Plumeria Flower Meaning and Symbolism

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When you see a plumeria flower, what comes to mind?

For most people, images of the tropical shores of Hawaii flood their vision. After all, these flowers seem to grow everywhere on the Haiwaain islands! 

You might be surprised to hear that the plumeria is a flower that’s not native to Hawaii at all. In fact, it was introduced there by a German botanist in the mid-1800s. 

However, plumeria flowers thrive in tropical soil and bloom in summer, and there are many varieties of the plumeria flower for you to enjoy. Did you know that this flower also has some pretty powerful symbolism?

Here are the basics. 

What is the Plumeria Etymological Meaning?

white yellow plumeria

The scientific name for plumeria, frangipani or Marquis frangipani, has a colorful history – just as colorful as this elegant flower, in fact! It was named after an Italian nobleman who produced scented gloves in the 1500s. The fragrance of the flower was similar to that of the scent used in the gloves.

This origin is disputed by some, however, who claim that the name was actually derived from the French word frangipanier, which means coagulated milk. This meaning is connected to how plumeria milk looks much like coagulated milk.

The common name’s origins are less murky. The plumeria flower got its name from the French botanist, Charles Plumier, who first described this tropical flower in the 1600s.

This tropical flower has countless connotations, from Hawaiian culture to those across the lobe.

What Do Plumerias Symbolize?

Plumeria flowers, often used in Hawaiian leis and in the hair of Hawaiian women to indicate their marital status, have deep symbolic meaning. They can mean a number of things depending on the setting and color, too.

For example, a plumeria flower can symbolize new life and new beginnings. It can also represent birth and creation. Plumerias can symbolize springtime, charm, beauty, and grace, too. The plumeria flower meaning changes by color and culture, including Hawaiian culture.

There are many colors of plumeria flowers, including yellow, red, pink, and sunset shades. You’ll even find plumerias in white! The frangipani flower has different meanings depending on the color.

What Do Yellow Plumeria Flowers Symbolize?

The yellow plumeria is often associated with positivity, energy, and warmth. Yellow is a color that creates enthusiasm, stimulates mental activity, and encourages communication.

Yellow plumeria flowers signify immortality as well.

In essence, this bright-colored flower embodies joy, remembrance, and friendship. Furthermore, yellow plumerias make a perfect gift for those who are in need of a boost of energy and motivation.

What Do Red Plumerias Mean?

In most cultures, the red color is often synonymous with passion, desire, and love. Thus, a red plumeria signifies a strong bond, commitment, and deep emotions. It is often given to lovers, spouses, and romantic partners as a symbol of eternal love, devotion, and passion.

In addition, the red plumeria flower can be seen as a representation of courage, courage to take risks in life and face challenges head-on.

What Do Purple Plumeria Varieties Mean?

If you are looking for a flower that represents royalty, admiration, and pride, then a purple plumeria is the perfect choice. The color purple has always been associated with the rich and powerful, and this flower is no exception.

A purple plumeria symbolizes respect and honor and is often given to leaders, influencers, and role models.

What Does a Pure White Plumeria Symbolize?

A pure white plumeria is one of the most popular varieties and is often seen as a symbol of purity, innocence, and spirituality. The color white represents peace, purity, and tranquility, thus making it a perfect flower for a baptism or a wedding.

This flower is believed to have the most medicinal properties and is often used for traditional and natural remedies.

What is the Cultural Significance of a Plumeria?

white plumeria flower

Plumeria flowers have a rich history that goes beyond their popular scent. They have special significance to many cultures.

In Hawaiian culture, plumerias are used to symbolize positivity. They are frequently used to celebrate special occasions and, when worn in the hair, are used to symbolize the marital status of the person who is wearing it. 

If a woman wears a plumeria over the right ear, she is available – while a plumeria flower over the left ear means that she is taken.

In Hindu culture, plumeria flower blooms can represent devotion and dedication to the faith. However, in Buddhism, plumerias tend to represent immortality. This is probably because the plant that produces plumeria flower blooms even after it has been uprooted. 

They are often used in wedding ceremonies, particularly south Indian weddings. The symbolism of the plumeria is so valued here as well as in Chinese culture and across southern Asia.

There are other cultures that value the plumeria flower, too, for deity worship and religious rituals.

According to Mexican tradition, plumeria flowers gave birth to the gods. For Mayans, plumerias were seen as representations of life and of birth. They are depicted in ancient Mayan art of Central America.

It’s not just the beauty of the plumeria bloom that attracts people to this plant, which grows well in tropical climates. For example, plumeria scented perfume is common. These pleasant flowers were believed to have healing powers in ancient times, such as for treating inflammation.

What is the Symbolism of a Plumeria Tattoo?

There are many reasons to get a plumeria tattoo. Not only can this artwork represent love, dedication, and devotion, but it can also be used to symbolize creation and beauty.

The flower is often used to symbolize Hawaii, so you may choose to get this kind of tattoo if you have some kind of a connection to the island. 

When Should You Give Someone a Plumeria?

yellow plumeria

Grown on plumeria trees, plumeria flowers aren’t commonly given as cut flowers. They do have many medicinal properties. For example, the Vietnamese use the plumeria to treat skin inflammation, high blood pressure, and cough. 

If you do choose to give someone a plumeria flower, you will be sending a message that they aren’t likely to forget. Giving someone a plumeria flower is a great way to show that you care, regardless of the occasion. In fact, these beautiful and versatile flowers can be given at just about any time.

Up next: Best soil for plumeria

*Photo by kennymax/depositphotos

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