Bougainvillea is famous for its brilliantly colored floral displays and quick growth rate. The thornless Bougainvillea arborea can be used in places where the thorns on other Bougainvillea may be a problem. Use bougainvillea to decorate fences and arbors with explosions of color. Bougainvillea is a great vine for large containers to decorate hot patios and plazas. It can be trained as a shrub or clipped into shapes. Bougainvillea is also used to create beautiful flowering bonsai specimens.
All of the Bougainvillea species are native to South America. The bougainvillea's brilliant color displays are enjoyed from Florida to California, from the south of France to southeast Asia to Australia and throughout its native tropical America.
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 the botanical highlight of the voyage. Through the ensuing years, this beauty has assumed its rightful place as one of the most popular, spectacular and beautiful tropical plants.