Bougainvillea is a genus of thorny ornamental vines or bushes with flower-like spring leaves near its flowers. The Chinese names are 簕杜鵑, 九重葛, 三角梅, 紙花, etc. They are native plants of South America in Brazil, Peru and Argentina.

The vine species grow anywhere from 1 to 10 m 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 actual flower of the plant is small and generally white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts (modified leaves) with the bright colours associated with the plant, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow.

Two groups of flowers each surrounded by 3 purple red bracts. A third group at the top of the photo shows 3 flower buds.
Two groups of flowers each surrounded by 3 purple red bracts. A third group at the top of the photo shows 3 flower buds.

 

A few groups of flowers each surrounded by 3 purple red bracts.
A few groups of flowers each surrounded by 3 purple red bracts.

 

 

 

Three white flowers surrounded by tree purple red bracts
Three white flowers surrounded by tree purple red bracts

 

P1460052 (1024x904)
This variety has white bracts and pale green corolla tubes

 

Bougainvillea is sometimes referred to as ‘paper flower’ because the bracts are thin and papery. The fruit is a narrow five-lobed achene.

Many of today’s bougainvillea are the result of interbreeding among only three out of the eighteen South American species recognized by botanists. Currently, there are over 300 varieties of bougainvillea around the world. Because many of the hybrids have been crossed over several generations, it is difficult to identify their respective origins.

The sap of the Bougainvillea can cause serious skin rashes.

Paintings of Bougainvillea

I can hardly find any ancient Chinese paintings on Bougainvillea. Fāng Guóxìng (方國興) in Shēnzhèn (深圳), China likes drawing Bougainvillea. He draws the flowers on rice paper and on porcelain. He is inspiring.

Fāng Guóxìng (方國興): Spring weather all years round (四季如春), 2014 (甲午), 69 x 69 cm
Fāng Guóxìng (方國興): Spring weather all years round (四季如春), 2014 (甲午), 69 x 69 cm
Fāng Guóxìng (方國興): Long-lasting fragrance on golden red color blue and white plate (青花金紅彩盤--香遠) diameter:36cm Bibliography :
Fāng Guóxìng (方國興): Long-lasting fragrance on golden red color blue and white plate (青花金紅彩盤–香遠) diameter:36cm

 

Bibliography :

https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%B0%95%E6%9D%9C%E9%B9%83

http://artist.artron.net/20150519/n742441.html (画中市花闪耀文博会——深圳艺术家方国兴笔墨寄情簕杜鹃)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWDZ2ds6u7M 公屋變花海 紅葉簕杜鵑掩花廊

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHa1vX62Xvk (very beautiful, highly recommended)

台灣花卉之美-九重葛.mpg

 

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