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Bougainvillea glabra Choisy

 

Paperflower

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
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
SpeciesglabraSmooth or hairless

About plant names...

The plant and genus are named in honor of the noted mathematician, scientist, lawyer, soldier, author and Royal Society Fellow, Louis Antoine de Bougainville (1729-1811). But de Bougainville actually “took notice” of the species, he didn’t discover it. It was discovered in Brazil by Jacques Denys Choisy, in 1850. Paperflower is a South American na­tive, now naturalized in Texas and Florida in North America. There are many cultivars, and it is popular among gardeners and bonsai enthu­siasts. They prefer full sun.

Plants: Evergreen woody climbing plants are 10-15' (3-4.6 m), with hairy and thorny stems. Thorns are about ½" (1.3 cm). They form freestanding bushes or climb like vines over walls and fences.

Leaves: 1-4" (2.5-10 cm) long, elliptical, shiny, hairless, and alternate, with smoother edges than those of B. spectabilis. Sometimes the leaves are variegated.

Flowers: Bougainvilleas are kind of weird. Their flowers are cream-colored, about ⅜" (1 cm) in diameter, with pleated edges. But the bracts (modified leaves) surrounding the flowers come in a range of (often cultivated) attractive colors: many reds, lavendar, magenta, peach, yellow, and white. If you look closely at the colorful “petals,” they are clearly leaves. In this species, the bracts tend to be more triangular in shape. Flowers appear several times per year, from winter to early spring.

Medical: Many health-related benefits are attributed to bougainvilleas, but I cannot find any hard information on the topic.

These are closely similar:

 

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

7/7/2007 · Guam · By Jacquelyn Boyt

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

Bonsai. · 12/12/2016 · Bonsai West, Littleton, MA
≈ 26 × 17" (66 × 44 cm)

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

7/7/2007 · Guam · By Jacquelyn Boyt

  You are here
Bougainvillea glabra

Bougainvillea spectabilis
Common Name

paperflower

bougainvillea
Plant Evergreen woody climbing plants are 10-15' (3-4.6 m), They form freestanding bushes or climb like vines over walls and fences. Evergreen woody climbing plants are usually around 6' (1.8 m) but can be over 30' (9.1 m) high. They form freestanding bushes or climb like vines over walls and fences.
Flowers Cream-colored, about ⅜" (1 cm) in diameter, with pleated edges. Bracts (modified leaves) surrounding the flowers come in a range of (often cultivated) colors: many reds, lavendar, magenta, peach, yellow, and white. Bracts tend to be more triangular in shape. Flowers appear several times per year, from winter to early spring. Cream-colored, about ⅜" (1 cm) in diameter, with pleated edges. Bracts (modified leaves) surrounding the flowers come in a range of natural colors: red, dark pink, or purple. Cultivars come in other colors too: many reds, lavendar, magenta, peach, yellow, and white. Blooms are seasonal, appearing after the dry season or after a cool spell.
Leaves 1-4" (2.5-10 cm) long, elliptical, shiny, hairless, and alternate, with smoother edges than those of B. spectabilis. Sometimes the leaves are variegated. 1-4" (2.5-10 cm) long, ovate, hairy, and alternate, with rippled edges.
Stem Hairy and thorny stems. Thorns are typically less than ½" (1.3 cm). Smooth and thorny stems. Thorns are greater than ½" (1.3 cm) long, and sometimes bent.
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 9-11

USDA Zones: 9a-11
Habitats Subtropical to tropical Subtropical to tropical
Type Escaped cultivar Wild

 

Online References:

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

Bougainvillea glabra on www.creationwiki.org

Bougainvillea glabra on Wikimedia Commons

Bougainvillea glabra at the University of Hawai‘i’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at Mānoa (PDF)

Bougainvillea glabra on cals.arizona.edu

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

Bonsai. · 12/12/2016 · Bonsai West, Littleton, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

Bonsai. · 12/12/2016 · Bonsai West, Littleton, MA
≈ 14 × 21" (34 × 52 cm)

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

Bonsai. · 12/12/2016 · Bonsai West, Littleton, MA

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm)

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

2/24/1998 · Antigua ID is uncertain

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

Bonsai. · 12/12/2016 · Bonsai West, Littleton, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

Bonsai. · 12/12/2016 · Bonsai West, Littleton, MA
≈ 7 × 4" (16 × 11 cm)

Bougainvillea glabra description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Sep 2020.

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Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm)

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

7/20/2007 · Guam · By Jacquelyn Boyt ID is uncertain

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

7/7/2007 · Guam · By Jacquelyn Boyt

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

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

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

Bonsai. · 12/12/2016 · Bonsai West, Littleton, MA
≈ 10 × 15" (26 × 39 cm)

Bougainvillea glabra (paperflower)

Bonsai. · 12/12/2016 · Bonsai West, Littleton, MA
≈ 7 × 4" (16 × 11 cm)

Range: Zones 9-11:

About this map...