Bougainvillea is a genus of thorny ornamental vines, bushes, or trees. The inflorescence consists of large colorful sepal like bracts which surround three simple waxy flowers. Bougainvilleas are commonly known as flowering machines. You can't beat them for an explosion of color. The vine species grow anywhere from 1 to 12 m (3 to 40 ft.) tall, scrambling over other plants with their spiky thorns. The thorns are tipped with a black, waxy substance.
The actual flower of the plant is small and generally white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts with the bright colours associated with the plant, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow. All Bougainvilleas are surprisingly easy to grow and their needs are minimal – full sun, well-drained soil and intermittent irrigation.
Bougainvillea can be used as a houseplant or hanging basket in cooler climates. In the landscape, it makes an excellent hot season plant, and its drought tolerance makes it ideal for warm climates year-round. It can be pruned into a standard, but is also grown along fence lines. No matter where you live, you can enjoy the beauty of bougainvillea.
It is an evergreen, woody plant and it usually has spines. Bougainvillea plants have cascading stems which end with colorful bracts of many shades to shield small beautiful, inconspicuous flowers.