bougainvillea Nyctaginaceae Bougainvillea spp.
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.