Bougainvillea is a genus of about 15 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 in Grenada
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.
Bougainvillea in Guam, USA
Bougainvillea is the state flower of the United States territory of Guam, where it is known as the “Puti Tai Nobiu” which means “It hurts to have no boyfriend”.
Climbers, Shrubs, Trees
Bougainvillea bracts come in shades of red, purple, yellow, pink, orange and white. The flowers are generally white.
Spring, Autumn, Winter, Summer
Bougainvillea can grow from 60 cm to 12 metres (2 to 40 ft) tall.
Bougainvillea prefers moist, well drained and slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5.