Fagraea (Pua Keni Keni)

mehitabel(z6 MO)July 9, 2011

Hi, all. Anyone have this? Logee's is offering this, but $$ ($40 for a 4") so I'd like to make sure it really is fragrant before popping for it.

If you have this, would you report on its fragrance, and anything else about growing it. Any replies will be appreciated.

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Dear Mehitabel,

If you use coupon code "new5" they will give you $5 off your order. Here is the catch, you need to spend $40 to recieve the discount, and Pua Keni Keni cossts $39.95. It will be your excuse to purchase something else.

One thing in its favor is that it is a lei flower in Hawai'i - which bodes well for it being very fragrant.

Another piece of information is that it is an introduced species in Hawai'i, but _has not_ become invasive or naturalized. This may be a lack of pollinators/seed distributing animals, but it points to the fact that this is a plant that needs some special care in propogation.
This could be part of the reason for the high cost.

I hope this helps!
Matt Di Clemente

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 6:26PM
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I remember while in Hawaii, the Pua leis were indescribable. Plumeria pales in comparison. I would have to say the fragrance is second to the night blooming jasmine in strength.....at least out in the Islands. If you are prone to strong scents it is almost sickening and like the Cestrum, if too close it almost smells medicinal, not so sweet. I absolutely love it but know it is extremely tender, so I would have to keep it potted here just north of Tampa. These are trees in Hawaii, and slower growing. I am tempted to get one from the ill fated nursery to my south....and after all the bad feedback I might just drive down there myself to inspect, but they are the only ones I saw that consistently carried this and at a decent size...bigger than Logee's. I rarely see anyone post about this and your post caught my eye immediately. It such an extremely fragrant plant, but not very sought after. Right up there with Gardenias, Osmanthus, and Brugs. Good Luck with the hunt...if u can get bigger right off the bat, it would be a help as again, I believe these are slower growing...Joe.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 11:21PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Thank you so much for the information, Matt and Blutayle. It's definitely worth a try. I'm going to order it today.

Matt, if I ever get it to bloom, I'll definitely report here.

Blutayle, I'll just have to take a chance with this small one, since I haven't seen any bigger ones, and the nursery to the south is out for me after a tiny, jynxed artabotrys. If you decide to get one, please report back all about it.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 10:18AM
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I purchased a Pua Keni Keni from Logees though it started off well then it died. It was my fault for leaving it out in during the cold rain (almost 2 weeks nonstop) I purchsed a 3 gallon Pua Keni Knei from TT orignally 2.5 feet. I transplanted this year I could see roots coming out of the bottom. Since transplanting It has flowered and is putting many out new branches from the bottom as well as growing branching out all around. It gets the afternoon hot sun, is kept fairly dry, planted in a 1/2 whiskey barrel in acidic soil and has put out beautiful green leaves. If it continues to grow like this year, I may put it in the ground in two years. Back home in Hawaii, it starts off looking like a strub then easily grows into a very large multi stalk, multi branched tree.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 3:39AM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Thanks for the growing inf, Saigee. I got mine yesterday, and you can see just from the stem and leaves that it turns into a big one. As you said, the leaves are beautiful, dark shiny green.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 11:56AM
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daxin(z9 Bay Area)

Back in 2006, I bought one from the now defunct Pacific Tropical Gardens. It was a large healthy plant with big leathery leaves, almost 2' high, and I paid just $22. Maybe if that nursery charged Logee's price, they would have survived. Unfortunately, my plant dried up the next spring even though I kept it in my greenhouse. Low soil temperature might be the cause since I left it sitting on the floor and it might have gotten down to 50F or lower. I think what I should have done is to put it on a thermostat-controlled heating mat and keep the soil temperature above 60F. A lot of tropicals can handle cool air temperature but their roots are much more sensitive, especially if the soil is cold and wet.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 8:25PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Thanks for the inf about temperature sensitivity, daxin. I'll be careful with it. Cold wet is a disaster for all sorts of tropicals. I wouldn't think the Bay Area would be ideal for that sort of plant.

This plant really does have beautiful, biggish, shiny leaves. Would actually make a good foliage plant.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 11:25PM
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