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Bougainvilleas are perhaps the most popular and one of the most widely grown tropical vines.

A native to the coast of Brazil. In the 1760′s the French botanist Philibert Commerson discovered the colorful vining plant and named it bouganvillea after his friend and captain, Louis A. de Bougainville, a noted lawyer, mathematician, and explorer from Canada.

The Bougainvillea often has spiny, cascading stems which end with colorful bracts of red, orange, purple and other shades to shield small white, inconspicuous flowers.


Bougainvillea is unusual in several respects: it is sterile and propagated only from cuttings, does better in pots than in the ground, and rewards our neglect with abundant beauty. It bears no seeds, but mutates often, resulting in many varieties. Grown either as a shrub or climbing vine, it can summer on terraces, patios, decks, or at pool side. Although normally climbers, they can be trained to stay bushy as pot plants, hanging baskets, or as standard 3 or 4 feet high. They will bloom beautifully on branches on 18"-20" long. Keep all long shoots cut back to 18"-20" for best bloom. The vibrant color of this vine comes not from the small white tubular flowers, but from the 3 large paper-like bracts that surround each flower.