Bougainvillea Plants are very popular plants in tropical areas. They are used for their beautiful flowers and colorful foliage. These plants have been cultivated since ancient times and they were considered sacred to many cultures. Today, there are over 200 species of these plants worldwide. Most of them belong to the family Fabaceae (Fruit Trees). Bougainvilleas are native to South America. They grow from 1 meter high up to 3 meters tall. Their leaves are arranged in a fan shape with 5 leaflets per leaflet. The flowers are white or pink and have 6 petals each and a single stamen at the center of each flower.
The name “bougainvilles” comes from the French word bouge which means vineyard, and ville which means village or hamlet. The plant was first introduced into Europe in the 16th century.
It became popular in France where it grew wild until the 18th century when it was protected under law. During World War II, the plant was used as a food source for soldiers because of its edible leaves and stems.
Bougainvilleas are easy to grow and require little care except regular watering. They need full sun but do not need much water so don’t overwater them!
The soil they grow in should not be soggy or remain wet for a long period of time. The soil should drain well. The plants can suffer from root rot if they are over watered. Ideal temperature is between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
The plants bloom during spring, summer and fall months and their flowers usually last for about a month. Most bougainvilleas produce both colored and green flowers but some produce only green or only colored flowers.
Sources & references used in this article:
Bougainvillea looper by J Tavares, D Hensley, J Deputy, D Tsuda… – CTAHR publication IP …, 1998 – ctahr.hawaii.edu
Bougainvillea by KD Kobayashi, J McConnell, J Griffis – 2007 – scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu
Bougainvillea species by KD Kobayashi, J McConnelll, J Griffis – 2007 – plantgrower.org
Hawai ‘i Landscape Plant Pest Guide: Chewing Insects by BM Caterpillar – ctahr.hawaii.edu
Prevalence of some threatening pests and disease of litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) in Bihar state of India. by V Kumar, AK Dubedi Anal, V Nath – Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2014 – academia.edu
Handbook on insect enemies of flowers and shrubs by CA Weigel, LG Baumhofer – 1948 – books.google.com