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Common Name:

Bougainvillea or Tissue-Paper Flower

Scientific Name:

Bougainvillea spectabilis

Family Name:



Bougainvillea is a classical sprawling tropical shrub. Growth forms can range from nearly vine-like to tree-like with pruning. Lush foliage and long lasting tissue-paper textured bracts in many colors are hallmarks. One of the most widely utilized tropical shrubs; makes an excellent patio or pool-side potted plant. Can be outplanted as annual color.

Plant Habit or Use:

Warm season annual, small shrub, medium shrub, large shrub, small tree, tropical, interiorscape


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Pink, red, yellow, orange, purple, white, salmon, magenta

Blooming Period:

Spring, summer, fall, winter

Fruit Characteristics:

Achene, not ornamental


Size and shape are variable, often a sprawling shrub or vine to 20 ft long


variable, 3 ft to 20 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Medium Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Medium Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

USDA Hardiness Zones:

9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Very adaptable and durable shrub/vine. Avoid excess nitrogen as it encourages vegetative rather than reproductive growth. Plants with confined root systems tend to flower more profusely. Readily damaged by cold, somewhat difficult to transplant.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.