Plant profile: Bougainvillea

The ornamental plant, which is one of the UAE’s most popular, is easy to grow.

Pauline Goldsmith for The National
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Native to South America, the bougainvillea is a genus of thorny ornamental vines, bushes and trees. The plant, also known as buganvilla, ­bugambilia and Napoleon, can grow from one to 12 metres tall, and is typically used as an ornamental plant in areas with warmer climates.

The plant produces white flowers, often surrounded by three or six brightly coloured bracts (a modified leaf). It’s ideal for UAE gardens: it grows best in dry soil, thrives in full sunlight and requires little water once established – although it should be noted that growth rate varies depending on the variety.

The plant tends to have few, if any, pest problems, and because of its varied and bright hues, it makes for a welcome addition to any garden that’s in need of a bit of colour. Propagation can be done easily with tip cuttings.

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