Bougainvillea is a genus of between 4 and 18 species of shrubs, vines and small trees in the family Nyctaginaceae, native to South America. What we can see as a colorful papery “flowers” are actually modified leaves called bracts. The actual white and tiny flowers are surrounded by these large and brightly colored bracts. Bougainvillea is a popular garden plant due to its colorful bracts and its versatility in the garden.
Philibert Commerson, a French naturalist and botanist, discovered the bougainvillea and classified it in honor of his friend and shipmate Louis Antoine de Bougainville, who was the French Navy admiral.
Bougainvillea symbolizes passion, liveliness and life experience.
Interesting facts about Bougainvillea:
Bougainvillea is the national flower of Grenada and can be found upon the coat of arms. It is so popular that many streets, hotels and institutions bear its name.
It is also the state flower of the United States territory of Guam.