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Bougainvillea spectabilis

Purple Bougainvillea
  • Plant Type:
  • Vine
  • Evergreen-Deciduous:
  • Evergreen
  • Overall Mature Size:
  • Large
  • Also Grown As:
  • Espalier, Staked
  • Mature Height & Spread :
  • vine to 15-30'
  • Natural Growth Habit:
  • Spreading
  • Native To:
  • South America
  • Exposure:
  • Full Sun
  • Water:
  • Medium Water
  • Flower Color:
  • Purple
  • Bloom Time:
  • Spring, Summer, Fall
  • Special Features:
  • Attracts Birds/Butterflies, Deer Resistant, Desert Conditions, Seacoast Conditions
  • Container Sizes:
  • #1, #5, #15
  • Sunset Garden Zones:
  • 5, 6, 12-17, 19, 21-24


Sometimes, the old dog doesn’t need to be taught new tricks.  Straight species Bougainvillea spectabilis is just as (if not more so) amazing in form, color, and hardiness than any of her cultivar children.  Large, vivid red-violet bracts surround tiny little cream colored true blossoms which, at the height of the bloom, can completely cover the entire plant.  Generally though, sprays of inflorescence pop over a backdrop of lush green foliage.  Be sure to plant in full sun for the best show of color.  Watch for the thorns when you prune Bougainvillea; they’re infrequent, but enormous.  Wearing puncture proof gloves is a very good idea.  Plant where a large vine or hedge is desired, and just shape it over time until it takes the form you need.