This spiny climbing bougainvillea vine is a riot of color after periods of drought or in the dry season: lack of rain causes them to become evergreen. The color is actually in the 3-6 bracts (modified leaves) that surround the triple florets of tiny white flowers with yellow centers, only visible on close inspection. Most spectacular are trees with climbing bougainvillea intertwined with their branches which act as a support.
They were named by the botanist who first described them after the naval officer, Louis Antoine de Bougainville, he was accompanying on a global circumnavigation.
When the bracts fall to the ground they form a beautiful carpet of color and the overall effect is stunning. Climbing bougainvillea of this kind near swimming pools is not advisable, for this reason. However, there are varieties – double and triple variations – that do not shed the bracts, which just fade, go brown and stay on the plant.