Bougainvillea spectabilis (B. Brasiliensis) and B. glabra

  • Evergreen vine growing 15-20′ tall x 10-15′ wide
  • Heat and drought tolerant once established.
  • Requires a well-drained soil.
  • Prefers a full sun exposure.

In 1768 when Admiral Louis de Bougainvillea began his long journey to the Pacific Ocean and discovered the vine that now bears his name, it was a botanical highlight of the voyage. Through the ensuing years, this Brazilian beauty has assumed its rightful place as one of the most popular, spectacular and beautiful tropical plants.

The modern day hybrids of Bougainvillea spectabilis (B. Brasiliensis) and B. glabra are among the most beautiful of flowering vines. These tropical members of the Nyctaginaceae (Four-O’Clock) family, are very vigorous, evergreen,woody vines with spines. The plant is unusual in several respects: it is sterile and propagated only from cuttings, does better in pots than in the ground, and rewards our neglect with abundant beauty. It bears no seeds, but mutates often, resulting in many varieties.

Grown either as a shrub or climbing vine, it can summer on terraces, patios, decks, or at pool side. Although normally climbers, they can be trained to stay bushy as pot plants, hanging baskets, or as standard 3 or 4 feet high. They will bloom beautifully on branches on 18″-20″ long. Keep all long shoots cut back to 18″-20″ for best bloom. The vibrant color of this vine comes not from the small white tubular flowers, but from the 3 large paper-like bracts that surround each flower.


Barbara Karst – Vigorous, showy vine shines with bright magenta red blooms. Fast growing stems reach 20 to 30 ft. long.

California Gold –  Strong vining habit for quick cover and beautiful show of single golden flower clusters throughout warm season.

Orange Flame – Flame is a dark orange flowering vine. It has a unique flower form that looks rather like a flame. It is a smaller variety and slower growing. The foliage is sort of sparse.

Juanita Hatten Pink and Red –  The fuchsia-red cascading blossoms combined with slightly variegated leaves make this an attractive plant for the landscape. Combine this with a backdrop of unusual gold-spattered leaves, this plant is something special.

Variegated Raspberry Ice –  Beautiful low, spreading form exhibits a profusion of raspberry-pink blossom-like bracts backed by contrasting variegated foliage. One of the hardiest varieties!

Purple Convent – Rich, deep purple, petal-like bracts are displayed against handsome, deep green foliage.  This plant is a heavy bloomer that holds its color far longer than other forms, making it a tidy choice for small homes and courtyards.

Vera Hot Pink – Vigorous, showy vine shines with brilliant deep hot pink blooms to provide color and tropical flair to patios and garden beds.