Bougainvillea glabra

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Bougainvillea glabra
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Nyctaginaceae
Genus: Bougainvillea
B. glabra
Binomial name
Bougainvillea glabra

Bougainvillea glabra var. typica Heimerl
Bougainvillea spectabilis var. glabra (Choisy) Hook.
Bougainvillea arborea Glaz.
Bougainvillea brachycarpa Heimerl
Bougainvillea formosa W.Bull
Bougainvillea glabra var. acutibracteata Heimerl
Bougainvillea glabra var. alba Mendes & Viégas
Bougainvillea glabra var. brachycarpa (Heimerl) Heimerl
Bougainvillea glabra var. graciliflora Heimerl
Bougainvillea glabra var. obtusibracteata Heimerl
Bougainvillea glabra var. sanderiana Dimmock
Bougainvillea rubicunda Schott ex Rohrb.
Bougainvillea sanderiana (Dimmock) W.Falc.bis

Bougainvillea glabra, the lesser bougainvillea or paperflower,[3] is the most common species of bougainvillea used for bonsai.[4] The epithet 'glabra' comes from Latin and means "bald".[5]


It is an evergreen, climbing shrub with thick, thorny stems and drooping branches that are glabrous or sparsely hairy. The leaves have a 3–10-millimetre-long (1838 in) stem. The leaf blade is ovate to ovate-lanceolate, pointed or briefly pointed, 5 to 13 centimeters long and 3 to 6 centimeters wide, sparsely fluffy hairy on the underside and bald on the top. The leaf-like bracts are purple, oblong or elliptical, pointed, 65–90 mm (2+123+12 in) long and about 50 mm (2 in) wide. They tower over the flowers. These grow individually in pairs or in groups of three on flower stems about 3.5 millimeters long.[citation needed]

The crown tube is greenish, clearly angled, about 2 centimeters long, sparsely downy hairy, ribbed and points away from the flower stalk. The tip is lobed five times and forms a short, spread, white or yellowish hem. The six to eight stamens have 8 to 13 millimeter long stamens. The ovary is about 2 millimeters long, the stylus 1 millimeter and the scar 2.5 millimeters.[6]

It usually grows 3–3.5 m (10–12 ft) tall, occasionally up to 9 m (30 ft). Tiny white flowers usually appear in clusters surrounded by colorful papery bracts, hence the name paperflower. The leaves are dark green, variable in shape, up to 100 mm (4 in) long.[7] The flowers are about 0.4 cm in diameter (the pink petal-like structures are not petals, but bracts.)[8]


B. glabra is heat and drought tolerant and frost sensitive. It is easily propagated by cuttings.[7] It needs full sunlight, warm weather and well drained soil to flower well. The species is often used in culture, in areas with frost in glass houses, otherwise outdoors. The similar Bougainvillea spectabilis, which differs from Bougainvillea glabra by the velvety-felty underside of the leaves, is also cultivated, but less frequently.[citation needed]


Being of medical importance, the infusion of the plant's tender leaves and bracts is used orally to treat gastrointestinal problems (diarrhoea, stomach pain), and respiratory conditions (asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, chest pain, fever, pneumonia, whooping cough).[9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bougainvillea glabra". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 12 June 2018. 12 June 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2022.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Bougainvillea glabra". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2014-01-30.
  3. ^ Common names for Lesser Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea glabra)—Encyclopedia of Life
  4. ^ "Bougainvillea bonsai" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 9, 2014. (96 Kb)
  5. ^ Yasin J. Nasir: Flora of West Pakistan 115: Nyctaginaceae. Stewart Herbarium, Gordon College (et al.), Rawalpindi 1977, p. 13.
  6. ^ Andreas Bärtels: Tropical plants . Ornamental and useful plants. 5th, revised edition. Eugen Ulmer Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-8001-3937-5 , p. 186 .
  7. ^ a b "Bougainvillea glabra - University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension". Archived from the original on 2007-04-28. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
  8. ^ Bougainvillea glabra. "Bougainvillea glabra". Flower View.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Peter Schönfelder, Ingrid Schönfelder: The cosmos-Canary flora. Over 1000 species and 60 tropical ornamental trees (= Kosmos nature guide ). 3. Edition. Franckh-Kosmos, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-440-12607-3 , pp. 288, 289 .