Bougainvillea, a tropical vine noted for the beauty of the large, colorful bracts (leaflike organs) that surround its flowers. The flowers are small and plain; the bracts may be magenta, purple, yellow, or crimson, and are one inch (2.5 cm) or more long. One common type of bougainvillea has a climbing stem that sometimes reaches a length of 100 feet (30 m).

BougainvilleaBougainvillea is a tropical vine noted for the beauty of the large, colorful bracts that surround its flowers.

Bougainvilleas are native to South America. They are grown for ornament in tropical countries, and in the southern United States. Farther north, the plants are grown in greenhouses. The bougainvillea is named for the French navigator Louis Autoine de Bougainville.

Bougainvillea belong to the four-o'clock family, Nyctaginaceae. They make up the genus Bougainvillea