Bougainvillea in Greece and the Greek archipelago
Bougainvillea is a genus of thorny ornamental vines, bushes, and trees belonging to the four o' clock family, Nyctaginaceae. It is native to eastern South America, found from Brazil, west to Peru, and south to southern Argentina.
The species grow 1 to 12 metres tall, scrambling over other plants with their spiky thorns. They are evergreen where rainfall occurs all year, or deciduous if there is a dry season. The leaves are alternate, simple ovate-acuminate, 4-13 cm long and 2-6 cm broad. The actual flower of the plant is small and generally white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts with the bright colours associated with the plant, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow. Bougainvillea glabra is sometimes called "paper flower" because its bracts are thin and papery. The fruit is a narrow five-lobed achene.
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, bougainvillea can be used as a houseplant or hanging basket in cooler climates. In the landscape, it makes an excellent hot season plant, and its drought tolerance makes it ideal for warm climates year-round. Its high salt tolerance makes it a natural choice for colour in coastal regions.
Bougainvillea grow best in dry soil, in very bright full sun and with frequent fertilisation; but they require little water once established, and in fact will not flourish if over-watered. They can be easily propagated via tip cuttings.
Here are 23 pictures of bougainvillea from 23 islands in Greece.
Bougainvillea in Areopoli in the Peloponnese.
Bougainvillea in Aidonia on Andros.
Bougainvillea in Hydra Town on Hydra.
Bougainvillea in Rhodes old Town in Rhodes.
Bougainvillea in Ermoupolis in Syros. Read more about this particular bougainvillea here.