Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday Flowers: Bougainvillea

One of our daughters left Canada this week to visit family in Mexico. As I dropped her off at the Toronto airport, I remembered several of my late winter trips to this country. It is magical to leave the snow and cold winds here and arrive just a few hours later to warmth, bright colours, and a totally different culture.

The bougainvillea vine has beautiful papery blooms that make a simple adobe hut look magnificent. It grows all over the world in tropical and subtropical climates. The thorny branches spread rapidly and bloom all year in the right conditions. The plant does best in full sun but needs little water.

Grandma and I stayed at this quaint hotel in Tepic, Nayarit a number of years ago. She is standing at the bottom of the stairs, dwarfed by an enormous bougainvillea that is cascading over the stone wall.

Still round the turrets of this antique tower
The bougainvillea hangs a crimson crown,
Wistaria-vines and clematis in flower,
Wreathing the lower surface further down,
Hide the old plaster in a very shower
Of motley blossoms like a broidered gown.
Outside, ascending from the garden grove,
A crumbling stairway winds to the one room above.

from The Deserted Garden
Alan Seeger

I googled bougainvillea and guess what popped up? This lovely post written by Ginger at Joyful Woman in December 2005.


  1. My MIL received a beautiful bougainvillea when my FIL passed away. I will never forget the huge bundle of fuschia blooms on it and how much just looking at it gave her comfort. Beautiful plants!

  2. How fun that you found my post! I love bougainvillea. I used to use them for my "bouquet flowers" when I'd play "bride and groom" as a kid. ;)

  3. Anonymous9:27 am GMT-5

    I can't wait to see bougainvillea in Arizona in another month. It sure is a site for winter sore eyes!

  4. You are doing so well with Friday Flowers providing us with splashes of beautiful color. You also have a great talent of choosing an appropriate poem enhance your message.

  5. I grew up with bougainvillea in Burundi, they trailed over walls and grew everywhere. The sight of them still brings back good memories!

  6. Jayne- Was the bougainvillea in a pot or in the garden? I have never seen a potted one around here.

    Ginger- I loved the picture and story in your post. You are a veteran blogger!

    Naturewoman- Arizona would be a most welcome destination right now! I have not been there (yet).

    Mary- Thanks a lot. I am having fun reviewing my flower photos every week.

    Africakid- I had to look up Burundi on the map. I am sure it is one of the poorer African countries. But this flower beautifies everything.

  7. Ruth, it was in a hanging basket and in full bloom. :c)

  8. Anonymous3:10 pm GMT-5

    Oh gosh, I love bougainvillea too. It's everywhere in Florida where I used to live and nowhere in NJ that I've seen. Thanks for the photos.

  9. Love it too. Wish I could get it to bloom for more than one summer!

    I can just imagine how pretty it must be to see it blooming wild.


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