In the warmer months in Brisbane you’ll see thousands of frangipani trees flowering across the city, and footpaths often covered in a carpet of blossoms. The most common flowers are white with a yellow centre and their sweet fragrance can – just for a moment – make you believe you’ve been magically transported to a lush, tropical resort.
Frangipani trees are very easy to grow from cuttings. When a delivery truck collided with my neighbour’s tree, she gave me the broken branches. I put the accidental cuttings on the ground in a semi-shaded spot for about two weeks so the ends healed, and then popped them in pots. Now I have mini-frangipani trees on my veranda, but I could plant them out and they’d become trees several metres high.
One of my happiest childhood memories is running, with my cousins, through a thick blanket of crunchy, brown leaves dropped by the frangipani trees on my aunty’s footpath.
I’ve been enjoying this red frangipani in a pot at my front gate. It’s been flowering for months and doesn’t mind scorching sun and drying out when I forget to water it. After it drops its leaves in winter, I’ll be taking cuttings to make some new trees. It’s been a few years, but I’ll be able to pay my neighbour back with a red frangipani, which hopefully won’t be hit by a truck.