They are thorny, woody vines growing anywhere from 1 to 12 meters (3 ft 3 in to 39 ft 4 in) tall, scrambling over other plants with their spiky thorns. The thorns are tipped with a black, waxy substance. They are evergreen where rainfall occurs all year, or deciduous if
there is a dry season. The leaves are alternate, simple ovate-acuminate, 4–13 cm long and 2–6 cm broad. 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 b
right colours associated with the plant, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow. Bougainvillea glabra is sometimes referred to as “paper flower” because the bracts are thin and papery. The fruit is a narrow five-lobed achene. Bougainvillea is flexible. You can keep it short or train it to be tall. You can use it as a ground cover, a standard, a small tree, espaliered, a hanging basket, or cascading down a wall. It is hardy to zone 9B but can easily be grown in containers in cooler climes.
I planted my Bougainvillea 7 years ago and I believe this year was it’s best. Last fall it got really huge and was over the top of my house. I did extensive pruning in hope to keep it at a manageable height. Instead it has risen to an amazing beautiful blooming plant. I need to prune it back again but it still full of blooms.
These plants grow fast so be careful where you plant them. When I first got my Bougainvillea, I made a nice 6 foot challis that was soon consumed by the plant. It looked so good I just let it grow. I’m stuck between whacking it way back to the main stalks or letting it take over and light up my yard. It looks so good big. I have to bend over to get through my gate as you can see in the picture. These Bougainvillea can be seen from the street which I always check it out before I head up the driveway.