Bougainvillea

The best known of the 14 species of Bougainvillea are B. spectaspectabilis bilis and the smaller B. glabra. Most specimens grown indoors are hybrids (designated B. x buttiana), of which there are a number of different cultivated varieties, and B. glabra. The species illustrated here is a very attractive specimen for the conservatory. This is a liana native to Brazil. The branches are spiny and covered with alternate, hairy leaves. The flowers are small, yellow-green, and relatively inconspicuous. However, the three bracts surrounding the flowers are magnificent. These are usually violet, but may also be red, pink or orange.

To produce flowers bougainvillea must be kept in a light, cool place in winter at a temperature of about 5°-10°C (41°-50° F). It also needs plenty of light during the growing period. Water sparingly in winter, but liberally from spring onwards. Trim the plant to remove straggly growth and promote bushi-ness. Propagate from lateral stem cuttings.

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