The ideal plant for new gardens asking for some shade.

The ideal plant for new gardens asking for some shade.

By Lidia Boque Gousgouni
27 Dec 2017

The Native Frangipani is a very well-known tree – native to Queensland and New South Wales this tree grows in most locations, rainforests to open forests. Growing to about 8-10 metres in our region this plant has an upright and slender habit – a tall and skinny plant in other words.

The botanical name for this plant is Hymenosporum flavumThis botanical name is from the Greek hymen, a membrane and spora, a seed – and refers to the plants winged seeds.  The species name flavum is from the Latin flavus, meaning yellow which refers to the flower colour.

This tree is an evergreen and has lustrous glossy leaves and lovely flowers. The Native Frangipani will often start flowering in mid to late spring with flowers that are extremely fragrant and a pale yellow or cream coloured. The flowers change colour over a few days until they are almost a sulphur yellow just before the flowers drop. The flowers are very sweetly perfumed and resemble the flowers of the real Frangipani, but this is the only resemblance between the Native Frangipani and the Frangipani, they are not related.

After flowering the tree produces fruit that are dark brown.  These fruits contain packed layers of papery seeds that are dispersed when the capsules open, they are very easy to grow from seed. The Native Frangipani is also easy to grow by cutting.

This hardy plant grows naturally in moist areas but it also grows well in dry locations - as long as it receives some extra water during the hottest and driest of months. It needs a well-drained soil and does best in rich soils, soils with a high organic content.

This tree is a fast grower and this makes it an ideal plant for new gardens that need some shade. If you want to keep this plant more contained it responds well to pruning and can be kept as a tall shrub or small tree quite easily.

Frost hardy and not too bothered about soil types – these are two of the reasons this plant is popular for the home garden. The experienced gardener would plant this tree in a position where the evening breeze wafts the perfume through any outdoor entertainment areas, there’s no point having perfumed plants if you don’t enjoy them. Perfumed plants are valuable in any garden, and the Native Frangipani is up there with the best.

Diary - If you’ve been thinking about studying horticulture – Wodonga TAFE has Certificate III in Horticulture timetabled to begin at the end of February 2018. This course runs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays but you can choose to study part-time if that suits. Why not call into Wodonga TAFE’s horticulture department in University Drive, Wodonga and pick up a timetable for 2018 or you can see the details and apply online at;


The flowers on the Hymenosporum flavum – from pale yellow to sulphur yellow, these flowers become more intense over the days they’re open.