Bougainvillea is a genus of thorny ornamental climbing plant that is very common in the tropics. Its drought tolerance makes it ideal for warm climates year-round. It can be pruned into a standard, but is also grown along fence lines, on walls, in containers and hanging baskets, and as a hedge.
Bougainvillea blooms all year round, here in the tropics. The actual flower of the plant is small and generally white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts. The bracts are thin and papery, and that is why the bougainvillea is sometimes referred to as ‘paper flower’.
Its long arching thorny branches bear heart-shaped leaves and masses of papery bracts in various colours including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, yellow, purple, and burgundy.
It is common to see bougainvillea hedges on overhead bridges and flyovers. When in bloom, they are quite a sight to behold.
The insignificant flowers are surrounded by brightly colored paper bracts. It is easy to mistake the bracts for flowers.
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