Red champa-plumeria rubra:

Family: Plumeria rubra is a part of the Dogbanes family.

Common Name: It is commonly known as Red Champa.

Flowering period: The tree flowers in the summer season.

Habitat: The plant is well-suited to the climate of Central America.

Uses: The plant is mostly used as decoration or as an offering to religious deities. It is also used to make scented oils in the Pacific Islands. Despite being mildly poisonous, Red champa has a lot of medicinal uses. The flowers and bark of the tree are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat fever, pertussis and dysentery. Plumeria rubra also possesses an antibiotic called fulvoplumierin and also has antifungal, antiviral and analgesic properties. The plant has been known to promote digestion and excretion as well as respiratory and immune functions. The sap of the plant is used as a laxative and as a remedy for stomach aches. The flowers are also helpful in the treatment of asthma.

Key features: Plumeria rubra is a slow growing deciduous plant species mostly found in subtropical and tropical climates. Red champa is a small tree which grows only 2-8m tall, making it a popular garden or park plant. The tree has a thick succulent trunk with blunt and brittle branches that release a toxic white latex when broken. The tree exhibits profuse flowering with strong fragrance and five petals. This flower is the national flower of Nicaragua.