University of Florida

Plant Identification Learning Module:

Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spp.)

A bougainvillea is a sprawling, evergreen, woody vine which can be trained as a shrub. Leaves are alternate, elliptic to ovate in shape, and two to four inches in length. Where the petiole attaches to the stem there is a sharp, slender thorn which is replaced by flowers in flowering branches. Flowers are white and inconspicuous. The showy portion consists of three colorful bracts. The bracts range from purple to white with intermediate shades of red, pink and orange.