Virginia Tech Dendrology

bougainvillea Nyctaginaceae Bougainvillea spp. Comm. ex Juss. Listen to the Latin symbol: BOUGA
Leaf: Alternate, evergreen (or nearly so), thickened, broadly ovate to nearly round, to 3 inches, entire margins, dark green above and lighter green below.
Flower: Small and white, subtended by 3 very showy papery bracts in a variety of colors, most commonly magenta but also red, pink, white, orange, or yellow, appearing at any time of year but heaviest during summer months.
Fruit: An elongated achene.
Twig: Slender, initially green, buds dome-shaped, bearing thorns up to 1 1/2 inches long.
Bark: Showy, gray-brown with purplish streaks, retaining thorns.
Form: Technically a vine, but trained to a shrub and may develop into a small tree, to 40 feet.
leaf flower twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Bougainvillea spp. is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting bougainvillea.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654