Genus of around 18 evergreen or deciduous woody, climbing vines, sub shrubs and trees from tropical and subtropical regions of South America. Species tend to be evergreen in wet climates and deciduous in climates with dry periods and grow between 1–12 m high. They have characteristic, black-tipped thorns resulting from wax production and small, usually white flowers. Thin, papery modified leaves around the flowers produce showy bright colours including purple, magenta, pink, red, orange, white and yellow, making them a popular garden plant. They are particularly effective when grown on a pergola, arbour, arch or against the wall of a house.
Root softwood cuttings in early spring, and semi-ripe cuttings in summer.
Layer in early autumn or in spring.
Three colourful, petal-like bracts resemble flowers and are borne in terminal clusters.
Tropical and subtropical