Also called May Flower, the gorgeous Sacuanjoche was adopted as Nicaragua's national flower in 1971. Though different varieties of this flower are seen throughout the country, the most characteristic of the Nicaraguan culture is the variety with white petals and yellow center.
Nicaraguan Sacuanjoche - Photo Courtesy of Pinterest
Sacuanjoche (Plumeria Rubra) is an exotic tropical flowering tree with pinwheel-shaped flowers that grows on the frangipani tree. This is a conical tree that flowers around May, hence the term May Flower. Plumeria is a genus of flowering plants that has eleven species of shrubs and small trees in the dogbane family (Apocynaceae). It is native to warm tropical areas of the Caribbean, South America, Mexico and Pacific Islands.
Plumeria Tree - Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia
The Plumeria Rubra is one of the hundreds of named varieties of plumeria. The many different species have distinct features and growth habits, but the Plumeria Rubra is the variety that Nicaragua chose as one of their national symbols.
History of the Name 'Sacuanjoche'
The local name Sacuanjoche is derived from the Náhuatl language. "Xacuan" (sacuan) means beautiful yellow petals and "xochilt" (joche) means flower.
Sacuanjoche Flower - Photo Courtesy of spanishdale.com
The word Frangipani comes from the name of a 16th-century Italian nobleman who created a perfume that had a similar scent.
The Plumeria name was in honor of the 17th-century French Franciscan monk and botanist Charles Plumier.
Variety of Fragrances
Unlike other flowers, Sacuanjoche are intensely fragrant and have different scents. Each variety smells unique and many sweet and spicy scents are noted-- such as citrus and peach, jasmine, gardenia, honeysuckle, coconut, and rose. Sacuanjoche are most fragrant at night to attract sphinx moths to pollinate them. However, the flowers yield no nectar, so their pollinators are tricked as they go from flower to flower in their futile search for nectar.
Pink-shaded Sacuanjoche Flower -Photo Courtesy of therealnicaragua.com
The Sacuanjoche flower truly captures the essence of the beautiful country of Nicaragua. I couldn’t agree more.
Considering a visit to Nicaragua and looking into accommodations? Check out my blog: “5 Reasons Why You’ll Love Staying at Gran Pacifica” here.
ECI Development delivers affordable luxury residence and resort communities in Central America, providing our clients with various premier lifestyle options from the Caribbean to the Pacific. ECI delivers inspired residences for adventurous souls.
Coupled with over 20 years of inherent corporate social responsibility in the communities where we work, ECI Development is building a sustainable business that is going to be around for the next 100+ years.