Wednesday, September 15, 2010

different shades of bougainvillea

(bunga kertas)

It must be the wide variety of colours, almost pest free and the hardiness of the plants that bougainvillea remain in mother in law's garden for such a long time. Some with stems almost the size of adult's thigh just to picture the age of the plants. They will flower again and again in our seamless tropical climate. Cuttings can propagate easily. These are few shots I took during the recent Raya Holiday, of the many plants she maintains in her garden.

For a glimpse of history, in 1768, a native to coastal Brazil, the bougainvillea was discovered in Rio de Janeiro by French naturalist Dr. Philibert Commerson. The plant is named after his close friend and ship's admiral Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, who commanded the ship La Boudeuse that sailed around the world between 1766-1769, and in which Commerson was a passenger. 


  1. Beautiful! I wish our climate would permit us to grow these with no worry of freezing. So much variety in one garden!

  2. wow those plants must be so old if the stems are that thick. We try very unsuccessfully to grow these indoors.

  3. Wish I could grow bougainvillea outdoors here, beautiful.

  4. They are beauiful. I have one but I have to grow it in the pot. It could not survive our continentala winter outside, but it is grown outside in the costal area of Croatia.

  5. These are just gorgeous. I love the colors and shapes in #3.

  6. Lovely photos of bougainvillea Bangchik! Wow stems or branches more like the size of a thigh! I would love to see that! Interesting to know the history of the name. I can only ever grow them in pots here. ;>)

  7. Welcome back to blogging. Hope you had a great time with family members when you balik kampung during the raya holidays. The bougainvilleas are pretty. I like their Malay name, bunga kertas which means paper flowers. Just like Marie Osmond's song, Paper Roses, we have our very own real Paper Flowers, haha!

  8. Such a beautiful variety of shades. I also wish they would grow in my climate.

  9. Welcome back! Hope you had wonderful Hari Raya with your family!

    That's very thick stem! I think Bougainvillea is easy growing plant too!

  10. Hi Bangchik, Great to see you back! Hope you had a wonderful Raya time with your family.

    I have always admire bunga kertas. Some have scattered flowers, some in clusters. Very beautiful.

  11. Once you are a bunga kertas collector... you just want to have all the colours they have in this world. My sister-in-law used to just plant/buy every new colour she sees. Bougainvillea is just so charmming ;-D Btw, make sure the one with stem as big as thigh is 'securely' placed ;-)

  12. Carol@KeepingUpWith.. There are things that you have that we can never ever had. It is fair, isn't it?.. haha.

    leavesnbloom.. Some plants are 50 year old. We have to call them "tree" instead.

    Doc.. bougainvillea is always an outdoor plant here.

    Kalipso... the plant simply loves sun and heat!

    Wendy.. I know you are going to choose #3. The colour is unique, trendy and flamboyant... haha.

    Carol.. to get to that to that size is a life time. Fertile, well drained soil and a lot of sun will allow bougainvillea to grow big quick.

    Autumn Belle... It is nice to get back to hometown. But the traffic is neck to neck, crawling... Bunga kertas is everybody's flower in Malaysia.. yea.

    Rebecca.. they really add colour to tropical garden. Likewise, I love to grow apples, plums, grapes and strawberries in the yard!!

    Malar .. yes, bougainvillea is never a "manja" kind of tree. We can take be away for weeks and they never cry for water.

    One.. thanks, bunga kertas is wonderful. Other plants may wilt over hot spells but they keep on smiling with their wonderful blooms.

    Stephanie.. Big trunk is always a highly sought after item for nurseries. I better tell MIL to put pad lock.. haha.

    Cheers, have a great day.

  13. They are all so beautiful.I wish I could grow them here. I love the shocking pink ones the best. So pretty.

  14. My mom has some in her backyard, and hers is bright fuschia, like in your #4. I had no idea they came in such a variety of colors and shapes of petals. I see people growing outside walls, fences and arches full of them in coastal southern California. I guess the climate there is warm enough for these plants to overwinter safely.b

  15. Hocking Hills Gardener
    -grow them indoor, with adequate sunlight and warmth. they may just grow and bloom

    -if we are looking for continuous blooms, then bougainvillea is the answer. On weather, I guess the warmer the better. Southern California is warm enough, imitating what's tropical...



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