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Bougainvillea spectabilis

Bougainvillea spectabilis Willd.

 

Bougainvillea, Great Bougainvillea

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassCaryophyllidaeCacti, many other succulents, carnivorous plants, and leadworts
OrderCaryophyllalesIncludes cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants, and many carnivorous plants
FamilyNyctaginaceaePlants with unique fruits (“anthocarps”) and large pollen grains
GenusBougainvilleaNamed in honor of the noted mathematician, scientist, lawyer, soldier, author and Fellow of the Royal Society of London, Louis Antoine de Bougainville (1729-1811), who from 1767 to 1769 sailed around the world
Speciesspectabilis

About plant names...

Bougainvilleas, natives of South America, are prized for their beautiful flowers, which, technically at least, are not flowers at all. They are bracts—brightly colored leaves that surround small, inconspicuous white flowers. Breeders have created a vast cornucopia of these arresting plants (see, for example, this collection at Plants of Hawaii).

Bougainvillea spectabilis (Bougainvillea, Great Bougainvillea)

Detail showing bracts and tiny flowers, by Forest & Kim Starr

Identification: Three or six bracts ring the actual flowers, and may be magenta, purple, red, white, orange, or yellow. Flowers are tiny, five-petaled, usually white. The bracts are thin and papery. Plants are usually around 6' (1.8 m) but can be over 30' (9.1 m) high. Leaves are heart-shaped, adapted to shedding rain.

Medical: There is evidence of anti-diabetic properties.

Online References:

Bougainvillea spectabilis on Forest and Kim Starr’s Starr Environmental site

Bougainvillea spectabilis on Wikimedia Commons

Bougainvillea spectabilis on Blue Planet Biomes

Bougainvillea spectabilis on CalPhotos

Bougainvillea spectabilis on Wikimedia Commons

Bougainvillea spectabilis on eFloras

Bougainvillea spectabilis (Bougainvillea, Great Bougainvillea)

5/24/2009 · Kaylors, Peoria, AZ
≈ 11 × 7" (28 × 18 cm)

Bougainvillea spectabilis (Bougainvillea, Great Bougainvillea)

2/24/2010 · Bob & Celeste’s, Carlsbad, CA
≈ 2½ × 1¾" (6.9 × 4.6 cm) ID is uncertain

Bougainvillea spectabilis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Bougainvillea spectabilis (Bougainvillea, Great Bougainvillea)

2/24/2010 · Bob & Celeste’s, Carlsbad, CA
≈ 13 × 10" (33 × 25 cm) ID is uncertain

Bougainvillea spectabilis (Bougainvillea, Great Bougainvillea)

2/24/1998 · Antigua ID is uncertain

Bougainvillea spectabilis (Bougainvillea, Great Bougainvillea)

8/15/2003 · South Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands · By Heather A. Kent

Bougainvillea spectabilis (Bougainvillea, Great Bougainvillea)

4/9/2015 · MacDonald‘s, Marco Island, FL
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Bougainvillea spectabilis (Bougainvillea, Great Bougainvillea)

2/24/2010 · Bob & Celeste’s, Carlsbad, CA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm) ID is uncertain

Range: Zones 9a-11:

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