DESCRIPTION: These are deciduous (leaf losing), climbing shrubs, natives of Brazil. Their thin, woody stems are clothed with small, ovate to elliptic-lanceolate, dark green leaves and sharp thorns. They can be grown outdoors in the far South and in cooler climates, the greenhouse. The small, unnoticeable flowers are produced in the summer and are surrounded by large, brilliantly colored bracts.
POTTING: They may be grown in large pots filled with a compost of two-thirds loam and one-third leaf mold, sand and broken brick, however, they are most beautiful when planted in a bed of soil and trained up wires tied to the roof in the spring or fall. In the spring, a few inches of topsoil are removed and replaced with fresh compost. A minimum winter temperature of 55 degrees is required. During the summer, an abundance of water is necessary, but in the winter the soil can be kept almost dry. In February, the lateral shoots should be pruned to within two buds of the base.
PROPAGATION: Insert cuttings of semi-woody shoots, about 4 inches long, into a propagating case in the summer. When they have grown roots, they can be potted in 3-inch pots and later, into 5-inch pots before they are planted outdoors.
Bougainvillea glabra (carmine-rose bracts); Sanderiana (rich rose-red bracts); variegata (leaves are marked with creamy-white);
B. spectabilis (rose bracts); Crimson Lake (bright crimson); praetoriensis (rich golden-bronze);
B. Harrisii (dark green leaves variegated with creamy white).
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