Northern Mariana Islands Territorial Flower
Plumeria (common name)
Plumeria rubra acutifolia (scientific name)
The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands' official floral emblem is the plumeria, a fragrant, five-petaled flower native to parts of Latin America but now common throughout the South Pacific. No particular cultivar is specified, but the legislation does say that the flowers should be creamy white with yellow centers. The flowers’ teardrop-shaped petals overlap each other pinwheel-style, and may either curve back or open flat. The yellow markings may be very close to the center or start about halfway down the petal, depending on the exact variety.
Blossoms are extremely fragrant, especially at night when their aroma attracts pollinating moths. The flowers actually have no nectar, and the plant’s stems produce a whitish, opaque sap that’s poisonous. Leaves are long and narrow and usually a glossy dark green. When fertilized, a flower produces a pair of long, oval, and pointed brown seed pods, which can contain up to 100 winged brown seeds that overlap each other in the pod and look like the scales on a fish.
Plant: small tree
Mature Height: 15–25 ft (4.5–7.6 m)
Flowers: 2–3 in (5–8 cm) across, with five teardrop-shaped petals
Flower Color: White and yellow
Leaves: 2–4 in (5-10 cm) wide and 8–12 in (20.3–30.5 cm) long; glossy, dark green ovals with pointed tips
Fruit/Seed Color: Brown
Location: Sunny, open, well-drained locations
Range: Native to Mexico and south to Colombia and Venezuela but now common throughout the tropics
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|Author: World Trade Press|