Scientific: Bougainvillea hybrids (most are either B. glabra, B. spectabilis, B. brasiliensis, or more commonly hybrids)
Common: bougainvillea
Family: Nyctaginaceae
Origin: Brazil

Pronounciation: Boo-gan-VEE-ya HI-brids

Hardiness zones:
Sunset 5-6 as annual, 12, 13, 15-17, 19, 21
USDA 9 (will sustain foliage and stem freeze damage most winters), 10 - 11 

Landscape Use: Major landscape accent plant in Mediterranean, subtropical and tropical climates around the world. Use depends on cultivar and growth characteristics ranging from ground covers on highway embankments to garden trellis, screening plant, building wall or fence covering, big landscape beach balls, and patio coverings. Dwarf cultivars are demure and ideal as container plants.

Form & Character: Festive, colorful, evergreen perennial, informal with wide variation in form and character related to cultivar growth characteristics.

Growth Habit: Amazing variation in growth habit related to cultivar, ranging from rapid and sprawling to 40 feet to compact dwarf and diminutive to 2 feet, needs support for height else will sprawl.

Foliage/texture: Alternate, entire, ovate to orbicular leaves to 2 1/2 inches long which tatter in wind, thorns on stem; medium texture.

Flowers & fruits: Flowers yellow and relatively inconspicuous, bracts (3) colorful ranging from pure white, orange, pink, salmon, red, magenta to purple. Bougainvillea flowering occurs in new growth and is short day responsive. Flowering also responds to warm temperature and drought. Because of these environmental factors, bougainvilleas flower almost year-around Phoenix.

Seasonal color: Colorful bracts produced most of the year, but heaviest in fall/winter.

Temperature: Bougainvillea freezes to the ground almost every winter in Phoenix when temperatures fall to below 30oF, but quickly recovers in the spring with bountiful new growth. In contrast, bougainvillea thrives in the desert heat of summer.

Light: Full sun to filtered shade.

Soil: Grows well in clay soils, not as vigorous in sandy soils (fertilize lightly during spring and summer).

Watering: Must have regular deep irrigations in Phoenix, drying soil promotes flowering.

Pruning: Prune to shape and control spread, can be prune severely once established.

Propagation: Softwood cuttings, though very difficult to root.

Disease and pests: White flies

Additional comments: There are many, many cultivars of variable form and flower bract color! They com in all shapes and bract colors, some even with variegated foliage such as 'Raspberry Ice'. It is extremely important to choose the right cultivar with the growth characteristics to match the demands and constraints of planting location. Bougainvilleas have a very fine root system. Much care must be given to not disturb the root system during transplanting from container because bougainvillea roots generally do not bind soil. Established bougainvilleas do not transplant well. Bougainvillea glabra is a climbing evergreen member of the family was first identified by Choisy about 1850.

Litter Alert: Beware - fallen flower bracts create a HUGE litter problem for landscape "neat freaks"! They blow all over the place!