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A picture of a Paper flower

Paper flower

Bougainvillea spp.

Starr 030418-0058 Bougainvillea spectabilis by Forest & Kim Starr (CC BY 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Light watering
Tender

H2-H1c

RHS hardiness

1°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

12m

Max

5m

2m

Min

2m

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images

A photo of Paper flower
A photo of Paper flower
A photo of Paper flower
A photo of Paper flower
Bougainvillea Flower

Overview

Bougainvillea is a small genus of evergreen or deciduous woody, climbing vines, subshrubs and tree species. These tender plants originate from tropical and subtropical regions of South America. They tend to be evergreen in wet climates and deciduous in climates with dry periods. They can grow to 12 m high in the right conditions. Bougainvillea - some species are known as the Paper Flower - make a dramatic addition to any garden but they need plenty of space in a bright sunny position and nutrient-rich, well-draining soil. They are particularly effective when grown on a pergola, arbour, arch or against the wall of a house. In cooler climates, they are best grown in a warm conservatory, as they are not hardy. Alternatively, they can be planted outside in containers in summer and brought indoors for winter. They like high humidity as they start to flower, and plenty of water during spring and summer. Many Bougainvilleas have characteristic, black-tipped thorns and their small, usually white flowers are surrounded by thin, papery bracts (modified leaves) of purple, magenta, pink, red, orange or white, making them a popular show-stopper!

Common problems

Generally disease free and pests usually only a problem when grown under glass.

Propagation

Cuttings

Root softwood cuttings in early spring, and semi-ripe cuttings in summer.

Layering

Layer in early autumn or in spring.

Special Features

Attractive flowers

Three colourful, petal-like bracts resemble flowers and are borne in terminal clusters.

Attracts useful insects

Pot plant

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