Catching the fleeting scenes of many splendored life with a camera.
'Look closely. The beautiful may be small' — Kant

2 February 2013

Purple Bougainvillea

In my humble opinion any garden worth its salt should have a Bougainvillea hedge.
Bougainvillea is a genus of flowering plants native to South America from Brazil west to Peru and south to southern Argentina (Chubut Province). The plant was classified by Europeans in Brazil in 1768, namely by Philibert Commerçon, a French botanist accompanying French Navy admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville during his voyage of circumnavigation. Shouldn't it be named after the man who classified it, rather than upper class invader?
Bougainvilleas are thorny, woody vines up to 1-12 meters tall, scrambling over other plants with their spiky thorns. The thorns are tipped with a black, waxy substance. They are evergreen unless there is a dry season and bloom almost all year round.
The actual flower of the plant is small and generally white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts with the bright colours that make the plant so attractive: pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow. The fruit is a narrow five-lobed achene.

Purple Bougainvillea bracts and flowers
(© LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

Purple Bougainvillea hedge. (© LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

Purple Bougainvillea twining around a cypress tree
(© LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

Purple Bougainvillea vine twining around a cypress tree
(© LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

Pink and red Bougainvillea
(© LightColourShade. All rights reserved)


  1. I agree with you that Bougainvilleas make excellent borders, and I fondly remember them from my youth in India. Unfortunately, the climate in Oklahoma is too vicious for them to survive.

    And thanks for this lovely post.

    1. Thanks. I'm glad my post has cheered up your winter a little bit. Many houses here have bougainvillea hedgess, so when they bloom it's a feast for the eyes.


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