Bougainvillea Beautiful Bracts to Behold -A Photo Gallery

I have always been fascinated by Bougainvillea. Having grown up seeing these colourful, vibrant and attractive plants in front yard of our house, the Bougainvillea became one of my favorite ornamental plant. Bougainvillea had adorned our compound fence and the vine plant had beautifully spread on the stone pillars pergola we had, at our mini garden.The double shaded colour (white and purple) of Bougainvillea was a cynosure for all the visitors of our house. I cherish the moments of exercise we had to take in maintaining this vine plant with my father who, was fond of plants.

Purple Bougainvillea
Purple Bougainvillea | Source

What are Bougainvilleas?

Bougainvilleas are spectacular and most popular ornamental plants. Bougainvillea is a bush, tree, shrub vines with vibrant bracts. They can be grown as stunning arches in graceful forms in gardens and in parks. They grow in hot and dry regions. The woody vine plants are evergreen and need support for their climbing. Bougainvillea produces long arching branches which bear heart shaped leaves. The leaves are simple and alternate on the branches. Bougainvillea bears small flowers and thick sharp thorns. The plant has good root system. The fruit has a five lobed structure, which is simple, dry and is called Achene.

What are Bracts?

Bracts are the large leaf-like structures. Bracts are brightly coloured. The white flower is small, cylindrical and attached on the inner side of the bract. The flower looks beautiful surrounded by the bracts.

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What is the Scientific Classification of Bougainvillea?

  • Kingdom -Plantae
  • Division - magnoliophyta
  • Class - Magnoliopsida
  • Order - Caryophyllales
  • Family - Nyctaginaceae
  • Genus - Bougainvillea
  • Species - Bougainvillea glabra
  • Species - Bougainvillea spectabilis



Light yellow Bougainvillea
Light yellow Bougainvillea | Source
Light yellow
Light yellow | Source

What is the advantage of growing Bougainvillea?

Bougainvillea are attractive and alluring plants, they can be pruned to standard of desired shapes. They can be easily grown as a small plant in a pot, a container, hanging baskets, a tree with the help of a pillar/trellis to form a canopy or an umbrella, spread beautifully on a wall, with support it can form stunning arches and gracefully grow along fences as hedges and bushes.

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Who discovered Bougainvillea?

Bougainvillea is a native of coastal Brazil. Dr Philibert Commercon, a French Naturalist discovered Bougainvillea in 1768 in Rio-de-Janeiro.The plant was named after his close friend Louis Antoinede Bougainville, La Boudeuse ships admiral. The ship sailed around the world between 1766-1769 in which Commercon was a passenger.

Commercon sailed as a passenger in La Bourdeuse ship around the world between 1766-1769.


A.L de Jussieu first published Commercons discovery in 1789. Two species Bougainvillea spectabilis and Bougainvillea glabra were introduced first in Europe in 19th century. The specimens of Bougainvillea were sent to Australia and other countries from nurseries in France and England. The plants propagated by Kew Gardens was distributed to British Colonies across the world.

Reddish Orange Bougainvillea
Reddish Orange Bougainvillea | Source
A clustered Bougainvillea
A clustered Bougainvillea | Source

What are Flower Clusters?

The flower is small and white in colour, surrounded by bright three to six bracts. A cluster of flowers may be surrounded by many bracts. The bracts are thin and papery and hence referred to as paper flowers.

Purple clustered Bougainvillea
Purple clustered Bougainvillea | Source
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What are the Life cycles of Bougainvillea?

The Bougainvillea plant shows two phases of life cycle. The vegetative growth period during which the leaves and stems grow. The blooming period during which blooms of flowers appears. Flowering occurs in spring season.The plant blooms for 3-5 weeks

White Bouginvillea
White Bouginvillea | Source
White Bougainvillea
White Bougainvillea | Source

Where do you find Bougainvillea?

Bougainvillea adorns the parks, gardens, houses, bunglows, roads with its distinctive man-made designs enhancing its enchanting sights. Bougainvillea can be found grown as indoor or outdoor plants on terraces, in containers and in hanging baskets.

Red Bougainvillea
Red Bougainvillea | Source
A branch of Bougainvillea
A branch of Bougainvillea | Source

How to grow Bougainvillea?

Bougainvillea can be propagated by stem cuttings.The plant grows very fast in containers and pots. Choose the place where bright sunlights falls. See that the soil does not hold much water. The plants need soil that is little acidic so add limestone to the soil. The container should have proper drainage . Water the plant with little water and add fertilizer. The plant can be guided to climb by providing a support to unique styles of desired shape.

Bonsai growers find Bougainvillea easy to grow as an attractive and ornamental plant in small sizes, also they can be kept indoors.

What are the Conditions Required for Growing Bougainvillea ?

  • The plants need dry soil and bright sun light.
  • The plants are drought resistant and does not require much water.
  • The soil should be slightly acidic.
  • The plants need support to climb up.
  • The containers should be large enough for the plant to grow and have proper drainage

Bougainvillea peeping out between green leaves.
Bougainvillea peeping out between green leaves. | Source

How to maintain Bougainvillea?

Bougainvillea is maintained by following these activities, which can be carried out at any time of the year.

  • Pruning: When the plant profusely branches out giving undesired shapes, then pruning is carried out. The undesired branches or twigs are pruned to maintain the shape of the plant with a pruning shears.
  • Pinching: To maintain the quality of the blooms pinching is performed by shortening the shoots, The tip of the new shoots are removed by hands to allow the branching of the plant
  • Trimming: To give a neat appearance for the plant, the ends of the branches or shoots are removed by hand or hedge shears.
  • The sap of the plant causes skin rashes, it's better to use gloves while performing these activities.

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Two shades  of Bougainvillea on a fence of a park
Two shades of Bougainvillea on a fence of a park | Source
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How to take care of Bougainvillea?

  • Bougainvillea are pest free,drought and disease resistant plant.
  • Bougainvillea must be protected from frost.
  • The plants should be protected from insects by keeping the area around the plant clean to prevent insects laying eggs in the debris.
  • If infected, cut and remove the infected parts of the plant
  • Neem oil sprayed over the plant will help in pest control.
  • An insecticide sprayed over the plant will keep aphids away.

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What are the rewards for growing Bougainvillea?

Bougainvillea presents brilliant blooms of beautiful bracts as rewards to the growers and brings happiness. Bougainvillea delights and decorates the places where it is present. The plants in all its blooming is a prized possession and a pride for the owners

References

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bougainvillea

www.wikihow.com/grow Bougainvillea

www.bgi.com/kb/bougainvillea-101


Climbing Plants

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© 2015 vasantha T k

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Comments 11 comments

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 17 months ago from london

What beauty in your Hub! Such radiant and vibrant colours! Actually one of the rewards of Nature, if one can call it that, is that it instills inner Peace, and flowers are an essential part of this process. Exquisite Hub!


vasantha  T k profile image

vasantha T k 17 months ago from Bangalore Author

Thanks, manatita for your visit and the comments.


Padmajah Badri profile image

Padmajah Badri 17 months ago from India

V beautiful hub.We used to have Bougainvillea in our house when we were small.Our house was identified with the beautiful flower arch of bougainvillea..Thank you for reminding me sweet memories of my childhood ..


vasantha  T k profile image

vasantha T k 17 months ago from Bangalore Author

Thankyou Padmajah, Childhood memories are beautiful like Bougainvillea blooms they remain in us and remind us of the beautiful moments spent with plants and childhood friends.


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 16 months ago from LOS ANGELES

Truly beautiful. I love flowers they always brighten up my day.


vasantha  T k profile image

vasantha T k 16 months ago from Bangalore Author

Dana Tate, thanks, for stopping by to read the hub. Flowers are amazing, they bring smiles and add freshness to the days.


blessedp profile image

blessedp 14 months ago

Bougainvillas are beautiful plants. Thank you for sharing.


vasantha  T k profile image

vasantha T k 14 months ago from Bangalore Author

Thankyou blessedp, for taking time to read and leave comments.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa

This is an excellent article about the lovely plant, bougainvillea. I live in a hot and dry region where frost in the winter kills bougainvillea, unless it is planted in a sheltered corner. One day I am going to plant one in a pot :)


vasantha  T k profile image

vasantha T k 12 months ago from Bangalore Author

Thanks, martieCoetser , for your encouraging comments.


vasantha  T k profile image

vasantha T k 12 months ago from Bangalore Author

Thanks Martie, for your encouraging comments.

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