Frangipani trees are common in Key West. I have a tri-color species in my front garden that fills with delicate yellow, rose, and white blooms each spring. Something about them is so tropical that just looking at them makes you want a Mai Tai! Because the bloom is used in Hawaiian leis, they are often associated with those islands. The truth is, however, that they are native to Central America and the Caribbean. They will drop their leaves for a few months in the winter, as a learned the first year I moved to the island. One day I came home to find the leaves dropping rapidly. In a panic, I called a plant expert to help me “save” it. She calmly welcomed me to Key West and explained that many trees in Key West are deciduous. It was one of my early lessons on island life.
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