bougainvillea Nyctaginaceae Bougainvillea
spp. Comm. ex Juss.
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.