Sirens. Plumeria Alba, Order Gentianales, tocsin of exotic tropical paradise, you deliciously enticing fake, artificial illusion of danger. Solo beckoning lightened purity delicate and beautiful innocence perfectly designed siren to lure, snare and entrap. Frangipani in frozen minds of sun warmed happy days basking on distant shores. Desire feeds feigned fantasy.
Plumeria Alba, better known as Frangipani, is common throughout the tropics, especially here on Koh Phangan. The photos above were taken of flowers that I found in the garden yesterday. The flower has a remarkable significance in many cultures. It is often used as a symbol of the ‘exotic tropics’ in European & N.American cultures. Yet it is a symbol of death in some Asian cultures (e.g. Philippines, Indonesia, Bengal, Vietnamese). Conversely, in Polynesian cultures it can be worn by women as a symbol of relationship status (over the right ear if seeking a partner, over the left if taken).
Further interest in this flower was sparked when I found out that whilst it has a strong fragrance it has no nectar (thus the references to “fake” and “siren”), it fools moths into pollinating the flower by luring them with smell, but no actual nectar is available.
The flower sometimes reminds me of the artificial beautified, ignominious, celebrity of the mass media.