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Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea is a genus of thorny ornamental vines, bushes, or trees. The inflorescence consists of large colourful sepallike bracts which surround three simple waxy flowers. It is native to South America from Brazil west to Peru and south to southern Argentina. The vine species grow anywhere from 1 to 12 m (3 to 40 ft.) tall, scrambling over other plants with their spiky thorns. The thorns are tipped with a black, waxy substance. They are evergreen where rainfall occurs all year, or deciduous if there is a dry season. The leaves are alternate, simple ovate-acuminate. The first European to describe these plants was Philibert Commerçon, a botanist accompanying French Navy admiral Louis Antoine de Bougainville during his voyage of circumnavigation of the Earth. Bougainvillea are popular ornamental plants in most areas with warm climates, such as Florida and South Carolina, and across The Mediterranean Basin.

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