Native to South America, the vine species grow anywhere from 1 to 12 m (3 to 40 ft.) 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 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 referred to as "paper flower" because
the bracts are thin and papery.
The sap of bougainvillea can cause serious skin rashes.