are valued for their glorious, flamboyant display of blooms and
their ability to cover a large area, of either ground or wall.
The genus consists of 14 species ranging through tropical and
subtropical South America, but only 3 or 4 have been grown as
The numerous cultivars include a large range of different kinds and
They are evergreen in the wet tropics, but their finest display is
in the dry season though they may flower on and off all year.
The true flowers are tubular and rather insignificant, but the
surrounding bracts are brilliantly colored, often changing color or
shade as they age.
The plants are essentially scrambling shrubs, producing long canes
armed with strong woody thorns that act as a grappling mechanism to
The simple, broad leaves are soft and usually finely hairy.
Cultivation: Only water when needed and do not over-fertilize,
particularly with nitrogen, as this will produce luxuriant leaf
growth but very little in the way of colorful bracts.
Bougainvilleas need strong support for vigorous growth, but can be
controlled by pruning after flowering, when rampant plants can be
ruthlessly cut back without harm.
Flowers appear on the new wood.
With regular heavy pruning, all bougainvilleas can be grown in large
containers and kept to a height and width of about 3 ft (1 m) if
desired.Propagate from cuttings