Hands down, my absolute favorite is Plumeria stenopetala. Not an uncomplicated plant, since it is virtually impossible to propagate from cuttings (unlike most of the Plumeria rubra varieties), but my Plumeria guru, Luc Vannoorbeeck, brought us a version that is grafted as a standard on a tall rubra rootstock and forms an adorable small tree. Its lacy filigree-like white petals are enough of an attraction in themselves, but OH! -- the fragrance is heavenly!
This species is said to have come from Cuba, where it is supposed to be growing on cliffs.
A second favorite was unknown in the U.S. until about 18 years ago when (again) Luc Vannoorbeeck imported a dozen plants of Plumeria pudica from Santa Margarita Island near the Venezuelan coast.
This shrub-like small tree, with unusual spoon-shaped leaves, is very easily propagated from cuttings and has become a firm favorite with landscapers. It blooms nearly 9 months out of the year with pure white blooms, which have given it the name "Bridal Bouquet." It makes an attractive hedge. Its only drawback is that the flowers have no scent.
There are a number of other Plumeria species. They all have white flowers with a small yellow center in common, but some are more floriferous than others. Many of them will keep their shiny green leaves longer than the Plumeria rubra, and each displays interesting growth habits and characteristics. This makes them attractive landscape plants. Plumeria tuberculata has a funky-looking knobbed trunk. Plumeria obtusa ‘Kukulkan’ has a beautiful plume-shaped inflorescence. So, when you’re not after spectacular color, consider some of the underrated Plumeria species!