The plumeria is also called the temple tree or champa in India. Though it is most associated with Hawaii, it is native to Southern India, Mexico, central America and Venezuela. The genus, originally spelled Plumiera, is named in honor of the seventeenth-century French botanist Charles Plumier, who traveled to the New World documenting many plant and animal species.
Plumeria is related to the Oleander and is just as poisonous. Stay away from the sap!
The flowers are most fragrant in hte night to attract the moths that pollinate them. The tree can also be propogated (as my mother did last year) by cutting off a portion of the leafless stem, letting the base dry and then replanting it.
The white with yellow coloring - plumeria alba- is most ubiquitous in Chennai, though other colors are also seen in quite a few gardens.
Here is ours:
And here is the neighbours that clearly has many more years of growth than does ours.
Another one from the neighbourhood: