Plumeria flowers come in many colors- yellow, red, pink, white, orange… as well as the endless rainbow combinations of those colors. Other than blue or green plumeria flowers, which do not currently exist other than on photoshopped images created by unscrupulous morons, the most coveted and difficult to attain color is purple. Which makes me wonder why, of all the classic plumeria colors, “Purple Plumeria” would be a Pantone color. Purple Plumeria, color code 19-3716 TCX is a deep dark purple on the Pantone Color Chart (which incidentally, has been used to identify colors when registering plumeria with the Plumeria Society of America). Under ideal conditions (high heat, strong sun) flowers in shades of purple can be achieved with varieties like Purple Jack, which has been very popular in recent years. Most plumerias referred to as purple are really more of a deep lavender or mauve, not a true purple. They certainly don’t come close to Pantone’s “Purple Plumeria”. As with the blue and green plumeria photos, a plumeria photo that appears in this shade, is surely doctored.
The closest I have come to a true purple is Purple Jack. This un-retouched photo was taken when a cloud was passing, casting a shadow.
Anyway, maybe it was chosen because a purple plumeria flower is so elusive and coveted. (Maybe I chose purple as a background for this site for that reason as well?) Maybe it’s just a simple marketing ploy – the name plumeria is paired with a plum color. Easy to remember and familiar.