The blooms of Bougainvillea aren’t actually blooms at all. The showy paper-like structures are a modified leaf called a bract. These bracts hide the actual flowers inside, which are small and trumpet-shaped in whites and yellows. The showy bracts are typically found on new growth, with the showiest display following their winter dormancy. Captured in Santa Monica, California.
A tropical vine with lots of color, Bougainvillea plants are tough as nails, which includes their nail-like thorns. These plants put on a spectacular show of color in spring on their fresh new growth. Bougainvillea is native to Central and South America and commonly cultivated in South Florida, Arizona, South Texas and Southern California. Here is a collection from Santa Monica, California.