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It’s not the flowers that make this plant so colourful, it’s actually the magenta bracts. The flowers are just tiny and white. We have several bougainvillea plants growing in our Mediterranean Biome; for example, there's one climbing around the entrance doors.

Botanical description

  • Scientific name: Bougainvillea
  • Family: Nyctaginaceae (bougainvillea, four o' clock)

Woody climber with stiff curved thorns. Leaves bright green, alternately arranged along stem. Flowers inconspicuous, floral tube (perianth) white to yellow. Flower stalks (inflorescences) almost encaged by conspicuous papery magenta-scarlet bracts. Generally inflorescences consist of three flowers surrounded by three or six bracts. Pollinated by bees.


Did you know?

Bougainvillea requires a both a fair amount of water and high-fertility soil.
  • The bracts can be seen in all shades of pink and purple, and also red, yellow, white, salmon and orange.
  • This is Grenada's national flower.
  • Bougainvillea has been successfully grown outside in very sheltered areas in the UK .

Where it grows

Native to the tropical and sub-tropical regions of Central and South America but now cultivated in warm climes the world over. Bougainvillea requires a fair amount of water and high-fertility soil.

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