Plumeria (common name Frangipani) is a small genus of 7-8 species native to tropical and subtropical Americas. The genus consists of mainly deciduous shrubs and trees and it produces flowers ranging from yellow to pink depending on form or cultivar. From Mexico and Central America, Plumeria has spread to all tropical areas of the world. They are now common naturalised plants in southern and southeastern Asia, and in local folk beliefs provide shelter to ghosts and demons. The scent of the Plumeria has been associated with a vampire in Malay folklore, the pontianak. They are associated with temples in both Hindu and Buddhist cultures, though Hindus do not use the flowers in their temple offerings. P. alba is the national flower of Nicaragua and Laos.