Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Bougainvillea spectabilis
(great bougainvillea)

Rojas-Sandoval J, 2018. Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea). Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CABI. DOI:10.1079/ISC.9640.20203482916

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Datasheet

Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 28 May 2020
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Bougainvillea spectabilis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • great bougainvillea
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Bougainvillea spectabilis is an aggressive climbing vine or shrub growing >10 m high. Native to Brazil, this species has been extensively introduced into tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions of the world. It is reported to be...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); habit. Anna Maria, Florida, USA. November 2003.
TitleHabit
CaptionBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); habit. Anna Maria, Florida, USA. November 2003.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); habit. Anna Maria, Florida, USA. November 2003.
HabitBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); habit. Anna Maria, Florida, USA. November 2003.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); habit, showing pink/orange bracts and leaves. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
TitleFlowers and foliage
CaptionBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); habit, showing pink/orange bracts and leaves. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); habit, showing pink/orange bracts and leaves. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
Flowers and foliageBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); habit, showing pink/orange bracts and leaves. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowers, and white bracts. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
TitleFlowers
CaptionBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowers, and white bracts. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowers, and white bracts. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
FlowersBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowers, and white bracts. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowers. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
TitleFlowers
CaptionBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowers. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowers. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
FlowersBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowers. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowers. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
TitleFlowers
CaptionBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowers. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowers. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
FlowersBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowers. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (Bougainvilla); habit, flowering. Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2003.
TitleFlowers
CaptionBougainvillea spectabilis (Bougainvilla); habit, flowering. Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2003.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (Bougainvilla); habit, flowering. Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2003.
FlowersBougainvillea spectabilis (Bougainvilla); habit, flowering. Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2003.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowering habit. Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2003.
TitleFlowering habit
CaptionBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowering habit. Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2003.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowering habit. Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2003.
Flowering habitBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowering habit. Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2003.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); habit, in a Laysan albatross colony (Phoebastria immutabilis). Cable Company buildings Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
TitleHabit
CaptionBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); habit, in a Laysan albatross colony (Phoebastria immutabilis). Cable Company buildings Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); habit, in a Laysan albatross colony (Phoebastria immutabilis). Cable Company buildings Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
HabitBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); habit, in a Laysan albatross colony (Phoebastria immutabilis). Cable Company buildings Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowering habit in a Laysan albatross colony (Phoebastria immutabilis). Cable Company buildings, Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
TitleHabit
CaptionBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowering habit in a Laysan albatross colony (Phoebastria immutabilis). Cable Company buildings, Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowering habit in a Laysan albatross colony (Phoebastria immutabilis). Cable Company buildings, Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
HabitBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); flowering habit in a Laysan albatross colony (Phoebastria immutabilis). Cable Company buildings, Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); stem and thorns. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
TitleStem and thorns
CaptionBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); stem and thorns. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); stem and thorns. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
Stem and thornsBougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea); stem and thorns. Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Bougainvillea spectabilis Willd.

Preferred Common Name

  • great bougainvillea

Other Scientific Names

  • Bougainvillea bracteata Pers.
  • Bougainvillea brasiliensis Raeusch
  • Bougainvillea speciosa Schnizl.
  • Bougainvillea virescens Choisy

International Common Names

  • English: bougainvillea; purple bougainvillea
  • Spanish: bougainvilla; bougainvillea; veranera
  • French: bougainvillée; bougainvillier
  • Chinese: ye zi hua

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: primavera; roseira-do-mato; tapirica; três-marias
  • Colombia: curazao
  • Cuba: bunganvil
  • Dominican Republic: flor de papel; villamil; zarza americana
  • Ecuador: buganbilla; guambillo
  • Germany: Bougainvillie
  • India: boganvel ; boganvilla; kaagitha poo; kadalasupoovu-chedi ; kagaj-phul
  • Netherlands: drielingenplant
  • Peru: papelillo
  • Puerto Rico: trinitaria

EPPO code

  • BOUSP (Bougainvillea spectabilis)

Summary of Invasiveness

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Bougainvillea spectabilis is an aggressive climbing vine or shrub growing >10 m high. Native to Brazil, this species has been extensively introduced into tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions of the world. It is reported to be invasive on the Chilean island of Rapa Nui (Easter Island/Isla de Pasqua) and on Diego Garcia Island in the Indian Ocean. It is often planted as an ornamental and hedge plant in gardens, parks and along roadsides; it can support itself on other plants by means of thorns carried in the leaf axils. It reproduces sexually by seed and vegetatively by cuttings and stem fragments. Fruits are winged achenes, which can be easily dispersed by wind or water. Once established, B. spectabilis can climb trees or shrubs suffocating them and out-competing understorey plants.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Caryophyllales
  •                         Family: Nyctaginaceae
  •                             Genus: Bougainvillea
  •                                 Species: Bougainvillea spectabilis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The family Nyctaginaceae comprises 30 genera and 300–400 species of trees, shrubs and herbs found in all warmer areas of the world, however the bulk of the diversity at the generic and specific levels occurs in two regions: (1) the Neotropics, and (2) arid western North America (Douglas and Spellenberg, 2010; Stevens, 2017). Based on morphology, the family was classified into six tribes (Bittrich and Kühn, 1993). However, molecular phylogenetic analyses have led to a new monophyly-based classification with seven circumscribed tribes: Nyctagineae, Pisonieae, Bougainvilleeae, Colignonieae, Boldoeae, Leucastereae and Caribeeae (Douglas and Manos, 2007; Douglas and Spellenberg, 2010).

The genus Bougainvillea comprises about 14–18 species distributed across Central and South America (Douglas and Spellenberg, 2010; The Plant List, 2013. This genus is very important within the horticultural trade where the species B. glabra, B. spectabilis and many hybrids and cultivated varieties are widely commercialized as ornamentals for their long-lasting, colourful flower bracts. Although flower bracts of purple, pink or red colour are commonly seen, cultivars are now available in apricot, white, blue, yellow and orange (Gilman, 1999).

Currently, both wild and cultivated forms of B. spectabilis are commercialized and have probably been introduced repeatedly across tropical and warm temperate regions of the world. Apparently, the main difference between these two forms is that in the wild form flowers have simple bracts and produce reproductive structures while cultivars have flowers with multi-whorl bracts but are sterile. In this species, the cultivated varieties have been selected to have multi-whorl flowers, a type of floral abnormality in which some or all of the stamens in a flower are replaced by petals, and the carpel is replaced by sepals or petals. These cultivars with multi-whorl bracts have great ornamental and commercial value, but are sexually sterile (do not develop sexual organs) and must be propagated through cuttings (Xu et al., 2009; Salam et al., 2017).
 

Description

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Woody perennial vine or shrub (or small tree), erect or clambering, attaining a height of up to 12 m and a width of 7 m. Branches pilose, with straight, axillary, pilose spines. Leaves alternate, 2.6-2.5 × 2.7- 5 cm, chartaceous, ovate, the apex acute, obtuse, or acuminate, the base obtuse, rounded, or attenuate, slightly asymmetrical, the margins sinuate; lower surface tomentulose, with prominent pilose venation; petioles slender, 1 to 2.3 cm long, pilose. Flowers in axillary clusters of threes, each flower with a purple, red, pink, or orange bract beneath, to ca. 3 to 4 cm long; calyx tubular with 5 lobes, to ca. 2 cm long, tube the same colour as the bracts, lobes white, ca. 3 mm long; corolla absent; stamens 5-10. Fruit an achene, 1-1.5 cm, elongate, 5-ribbed containing 1 seed (McMullen, 1999; Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2005; Flora of China, 2018).

Plant Type

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Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Tree
Vine / climber
Woody

Distribution

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Bougainvillea spectabilis is native to Brazil (Sá, 2015; USDA-ARS, 2018). It has been extensively introduced as an ornamental and hedge plant across tropical and warm temperate regions of the world. It can be found cultivated and naturalized across Asia, Africa, tropical America, the West Indies, the Mediterranean region, and on many islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans (Randall, 2017; Flora of China, 2018; India Biodiversity, 2018; GRIIS, 2018; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2018; PIER, 2018; PROTA, 2018).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 19 Jun 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AlgeriaPresentIntroducedNaturalized
BurundiPresentIntroducedNaturalized
Cabo VerdePresentIntroduced
ChadPresentIntroducedNaturalized
ComorosPresentIntroduced
KenyaPresent
MoroccoPresentIntroducedNaturalized
São Tomé and PríncipePresentIntroduced
SeychellesPresentIntroducedInvasive
South AfricaPresentIntroduced
TanzaniaPresentIntroduced

Asia

British Indian Ocean Territory
-Chagos ArchipelagoPresentIntroducedInvasive
ChinaPresentIntroducedCultivated in southern China
-GuangdongPresent
IndiaPresentIntroducedNaturalized
-AssamPresentIntroducedNaturalized
-BiharPresentIntroducedNaturalized
-GujaratPresentIntroducedNaturalized
-Jammu and KashmirPresent
-KarnatakaPresentIntroducedNaturalized
-KeralaPresentIntroducedNaturalized
-MaharashtraPresentIntroducedNaturalized
-Tamil NaduPresentIntroducedNaturalized
-Uttar PradeshPresent
IndonesiaPresentIntroduced
-Lesser Sunda IslandsPresentIntroduced
IranPresent
JapanPresentIntroducedCultivated
MaldivesPresentIntroduced
PakistanPresentIntroduced
PhilippinesPresentIntroducedInvasive
YemenPresentIntroduced
-SocotraPresentIntroduced

Europe

CroatiaPresentIntroduced
ItalyPresent
-SardiniaPresentIntroduced
SpainPresentIntroduced

North America

Antigua and BarbudaPresent, WidespreadIntroduced
BahamasPresentIntroduced
BelizePresentIntroduced
British Virgin IslandsPresentIntroduced
Cayman IslandsPresentIntroduced
Costa RicaPresentIntroduced
CubaPresentIntroducedInvasive
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroduced
El SalvadorPresentIntroduced
GuadeloupePresent, WidespreadIntroduced
GuatemalaPresentIntroduced
HaitiPresentIntroduced
HondurasPresentIntroduced
MexicoPresentIntroduced
PanamaPresentIntroduced
Puerto RicoPresentIntroduced
Saint BarthélemyPresent, WidespreadIntroduced
U.S. Virgin IslandsPresentIntroduced
United StatesPresent
-FloridaPresent, Only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced

Oceania

Australia
-VictoriaPresent
Christmas IslandPresentIntroduced
Cook IslandsPresentIntroducedCultivated
Federated States of MicronesiaPresentIntroducedCultivated
-ChuukPresentIntroducedCultivated
-PohnpeiPresentIntroducedCultivated
FijiPresentIntroducedCultivated
French PolynesiaPresentIntroducedCultivated
GuamPresentIntroducedCultivated
KiribatiPresentIntroducedCultivated
Marshall IslandsPresentIntroducedCultivated
NauruPresentIntroducedCultivated
New CaledoniaPresentIntroducedCultivated
NiuePresentIntroducedCultivated
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentIntroducedCultivated
PalauPresentIntroducedCultivated
Papua New GuineaPresentIntroducedCultivated
TongaPresentIntroducedCultivated
U.S. Minor Outlying IslandsPresentIntroducedCultivated

South America

ArgentinaPresent
BoliviaPresentIntroduced
BrazilPresentNative
-AmazonasPresentNative
-BahiaPresentNative
-CearaPresentNative
-Distrito FederalPresentNative
-Espirito SantoPresentNative
-Mato Grosso do SulPresentNative
-Minas GeraisPresentNative
-ParaPresentNative
-ParanaPresentNative
-Rio de JaneiroPresentNative
-Rio Grande do SulPresentNative
-Santa CatarinaPresentNative
-Sao PauloPresentNative
ChilePresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasiveInvasive on Rapa Nui (Easter) Island (Isla de Pasqua)
-Easter IslandPresentIntroducedInvasive
ColombiaPresentIntroduced
EcuadorPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Galapagos IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasive
French GuianaPresentIntroduced
PeruPresentIntroduced
SurinamePresentIntroduced
VenezuelaPresentIntroduced

History of Introduction and Spread

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In 1789 European explorers in the French Navy recorded and collected Bougainvillea spectabilis for the first time in Brazil. In the early 19th century, it was introduced into Europe, and soon, nurseries in France and England did a thriving trade providing specimens to other faraway countries. Since then, it has been introduced extensively across tropical and warm temperate regions of the world (Salam et al., 2017; Stevens, 2017).

It was first introduced to India in 1860 from Europe; there is a record of plants from the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens being introduced into Kolkata in 1923 (Salam et al., 2017). It was first recorded in the Kruger National Park (South Africa) in 1952 (Foxcroft et al., 2008).

It seems highly probable that repeated introductions of both wild and cultivated varieties of B. spectabilis have occurred across its alien distribution range. Currently, this species is sold primarily in the form of various cultivated varieties, but the wild form is also commercialized (Xu et al., 2009; Douglas and Spellenberg, 2010; Salam et al., 2017).

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of new introductions of Bougainvillea spectabilis is very high. This species is actively commercialized as an ornamental and hedge plant worldwide. As the rate of introduction for this species increases, and the plants being cultivated continue to spread, it is increasingly likely that further naturalizations and invasions will occur.

Habitat

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In Brazil, Bougainvillea spectabilis grows in deciduous and seasonal semi-deciduous forests and in coastal forests (e.g. Restinga and Atlantic forests) (Sá, 2015). Outside its natural distribution range, it can be found growing in forest edges, coastal thickets, dry forests, disturbed sites near villages, gardens, parks, and along roadsides at elevations ranging from near sea level to ~1000 m (Salam et al., 2017; Flora of China, 2018; PIER, 2018; PROTA, 2018). On the Galápagos Islands, it can be found naturalized in arid lowlands and moist uplands (McMullen, 1999).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ManagedUrban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedUrban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedUrban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details Natural
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reported for Bougainvillea spectabilis is 2n=34 (Chatha and Bir, 1987). All the colourful bracted bougainvilleas available in the horticultural trade have been developed through bud sports, mutations, and inter- and intra-specific hybridization (Salam et al., 2017). Natural hybridization also appears to be common within the genus Bougainvillea (Douglas and Spellenberg, 2010; Salam et al., 2017).

Reproductive Biology

Flowers of Bougainvillea spectabilis are hermaphroditic. In Brazil, B. spectabilis is reported to be pollinated by night moths, but across tropical areas bees, flies and butterflies are also common visitors (Aranda et al., 2011; Nores et al., 2013). Cultivated varieties with multi-whorl bracts are sterile and do not develop any reproductive organs, i.e., perianth, pistil and stamens (Xu et al., 2009).

Physiology and Phenology

In Brazil and across tropical regions, Bougainvillea spectabilis produces flowers periodically throughout the year (Gilman, 1999; Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2005; Grandtner and Chevrette, 2013; Davidse et al., 2018). In China, flowers have been observed at the end of winter and throughout the spring (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018).

Longevity

Bougainvillea spectabilis is a long-lived perennial plant. In cultivation plants apparently start flowering 1 to 3 years after planting (Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2005; Fern, 2014; PROTA, 2018).

Environmental Requirements

Although Bougainvillea spectabilis is a plant of the tropics, it can also grow in warm temperate and subtropical areas. It grows best in open areas with full sunlight. It prefers well-drained soils with a pH range from 5.5 to 7.0. It is also capable of growing on sandy, loamy and clay soils. B. spectabilis has a high salt tolerance, likely due in part to the oceanic influence of its native habitat. It shows moderate drought tolerance and can tolerate hot, dry locations fairly well (Gilman, 1999; Fern, 2014; PROTA, 2018).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
40 35

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -3.9
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 13 27

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall800>2500mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Bimodal
Summer
Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • saline

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Although Bougainvillea species are relatively pest-free they may be susceptible to fungal pathogens, snails and insect pests. The larvae of some species of Lepidoptera such as the giant leopard moth Hypercompe scribonia feed on B. spectabilis (Gilman, 1999).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

Bougainvillea spectabilis spreads by seed. The fruits are dispersed by means of the wing-like bracts to which they are attached (McMullen, 1999). In cultivation, it is often propagated from stem fragments and root cuttings (Gilman, 1999).

Intentional Introduction

Bougainvillea spectabilis is a popular ornamental and hedge plant that has been extensively introduced across tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions of the world (Gilman, 1999; Salam et al., 2017).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Botanical gardens and zoosPopular ornamental often planted in botanical gardens Yes Yes Salam et al. (2017)
DisturbanceNaturalized in disturbed sites, along roadsides, forest margins Yes Yes Fern (2014)
Escape from confinement or garden escapeNaturalized Yes Yes Davidse et al. (2018)
Garden waste disposalSeeds and stem fragments Yes Yes Gilman (1999)
Hedges and windbreaksOften planted as hedge plant Yes Yes Salam et al. (2017)
HorticulturePopular ornamental. Widely commercialized Yes Yes Salam et al. (2017)
Internet salesPlants and seeds available online Yes Yes
Medicinal usePotential pharmaceutical applications Yes Yes Xu et al. (2009)
Nursery tradePopular ornamental. Widely commercialized Yes Yes
Ornamental purposesPopular ornamental. Widely commercialized Yes Yes Salam et al. (2017)
Seed tradeSeeds available online Yes Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesGarden ornamental. Seeds and stem fragments Yes Yes Gilman (1999)
Machinery and equipmentFruits with wing-like structure Yes Yes McMullen (1999)
WaterFruits with wing-like structure Yes Yes McMullen (1999)
WindFruits with wing-like structure Yes Yes McMullen (1999)
MailPlants and seeds available online Yes Yes

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Economic/livelihood Positive
Environment (generally) Positive and negative
Human health Positive

Environmental Impact

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Bougainvillea spectabilis is an aggressive climbing plant. It climbs over trees or shrubs suffocating them and out-competing native plant species in the understorey (Smith, 1991; McMullen, 1999; Fern, 2014; Oviedo Prieto and Gonzalez-Oliva, 2015; Randall, 2017; GRIIS, 2018; PIER, 2018).

Risk and Impact Factors

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Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Gregarious
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - strangling
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting
  • Produces spines, thorns or burrs
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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Economic Value

Bougainvillea spectabilis is extensively commercialized as an ornamental and hedge plant. It is often planted near porches and in gardens and in parks for the shade it provides and for its attractive and colourful bracts. The flower bracts are used for making a drink known as Agua de Buganvilia across America and the Caribbean region. The thorny nature of the plant has led to it being planted around houses or fences to discourage intruders (Gilman, 1999; Fern, 2014; Salam et al., 2017; USDA-ARS, 2018).

Bougainvillea spectabilis contains pinitol, which is considered to be helpful in the treatment of diabetes. This compound exhibits an insulin-like effect and can thus serve as a hypoglycaemic agent. A study of aqueous and methanolic extracts of the leaves showed good glucose tolerance and significantly reduced intestinal glucosidase activity, with regeneration of insulin-producing cells and increase in plasma insulin. The results suggest a potential for the development of new treatments for diabetes (Xu et al., 2009; Chauhan et al., 2016).

Environmental Services

According to Sharma et al. (2005), bougainvilleas are pollution-tolerant plants which can help in the mitigation of air pollution. They are therefore recommended for planting in cities and along roadsides to mitigate environment pollution.

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Amenity
  • Boundary, barrier or support

Human food and beverage

  • Beverage base

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical

Ornamental

  • Potted plant

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez, P., 2005. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, Washington, USA: Department of Systematic Biology - Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution 51, 483 pp.

Acevedo-Rodríguez, P., Strong, M. T., 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies, Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution.1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Aranda, R., Catian, G., Bogiani, P. A., Inforzato, I., 2011. Effect of nectar pillaging by native stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in the abscission of flowers of Bougainvillea spectabilis Willd. (Nyctaginaceae). Acta Scientiarum - Biological Sciences, 33(4), 399-405. http://www.uem.br/acta

Bittrich V, Kühn U, 1993. Nyctaginaceae. In: Flowering Plants· Dicotyledons. The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants. Volume 2, [ed. by Kubitzki K, Rohwer JG, Bittrich V]. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.

Broome, R., Sabir, K., Carrington, S., 2007. Plants of the Eastern Caribbean. Online database. In: Plants of the Eastern Caribbean. Online database , Barbados: University of the West Indies.http://ecflora.cavehill.uwi.edu/index.html

Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos. In: Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos Galapagos, Ecuador: Charles Darwin Foundation.unpaginated.

Chatha GS, Bir SS, 1987. Cytological evaluation of woody taxa of Gamopetalae and Monochlamydeae from south India. Aspects of Plant Science , 9, 199–244.

Chauhan P, Mahajan S, Kulshrestha A, Shrivastava S, Sharma B, Goswamy HM, Prasad GBKS, 2016. Bougainvillea spectabilis exhibits antihyperglycemic and antioxidant activities in experimental diabetes. Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, 21(3), 177-185.

Davidse, G, Sousa Sánchez, M, Knapp, S, Chiang Cabrera, F, 2018. Nyctaginaceae. In: Flora Mesoamericana . St Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.

Douglas N, Spellenberg R, 2010. A new tribal classification of Nyctaginaceae. Taxon, 59(3), 905-910.

Douglas, N. A., Manos, P. S., 2007. Molecular phylogeny of Nyctaginaceae: taxonomy, biogeography, and characters associated with a radiation of xerophytic genera in North America. American Journal of Botany, 94(5), 856-872. doi: 10.3732/ajb.94.5.856

Fern K, 2014. Useful Tropical Plants Database. http://tropical.theferns.info/

Figueiredo, E., Paiva, J., Stévart, T., Oliveira, F., Smith, G. F., 2011. Annotated catalogue of the flowering plants of São Tomé and Príncipe. Bothalia, 41(1), 41-82. http://www.sanbi.org

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018. Flora of China. In: Flora of China St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria.http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

Foxcroft, L. C., Richardson, D. M., Wilson, J. R. U., 2008. Ornamental plants as invasive aliens: problems and solutions in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Environmental Management, 41(1), 32-51. doi: 10.1007/s00267-007-9027-9

Gilman EF, 1999. Bougainvillea spp. (Fact Sheet FPS-70) . Gainesville, Florida, USA: Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.http://hort.ufl.edu/database/documents/pdf/shrub_fact_sheets/bousppa.pdf

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Herrera, K., Lorence, D. H., Flynn, T., Balick, M. J., 2010. Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia with Local Names and Uses. Allertonia, 10, 1-192. https://www.jstor.org/stable/23193787

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Jørgensen, P. M., León-Yánez, S., 1999. Catalogue of the vascular plants of Ecuador, 1182 pp.

Jørgensen, P. M., Nee, M. H., Beck, S. G., 2014. Catálogo de las plantas vasculares de Bolivia, St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden Press.1741 pp.

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Nores, M. J., López, H. A., Rudall, P. J., Anton, A. M., Galetto, L., 2013. Four o'clock pollination biology: nectaries, nectar and flower visitors in Nyctaginaceae from southern South America. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 171(3), 551-567. doi: 10.1111/boj.12009

Oviedo Prieto, R., González-Oliva, L., 2015. National list of invasive and potentially invasive plants in the Republic of Cuba - 2015. (Lista nacional de plantas invasoras y potencialmente invasoras en la República de Cuba - 2015). Bissea: Boletín sobre Conservación de Plantas del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba, 9(Special Issue No. 2), 1-88. http://repositorio.geotech.cu/jspui/bitstream/1234/1476/4/Lista%20nacional%20de%20plantas%20invasoras%20de%20Cuba-2015.pdf

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PIER, 2018. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. In: Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii.http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

Priyadarshini Salam, Veluru Bhargav, Gupta, Y. C., Nimbolkar, P. K., 2017. Evolution in bougainvillea (Bougainvillea Commers.) - a review. Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 9(3), 1489-1494. http://jans.ansfoundation.org/previous-issues/volume-9-year-2017-issue-3#TOC-Effect-of-growth-stages-and-fertility-levels-on-growth-yield-and-quality-of-fodder-oats-Avena-sativa-L.-

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Sharma SC, Srivastava RI, Roy RK, 2005. Role of bougainvilleas in mitigation of environmental pollution. 47(2), 131-134.

Smith, A. C., 1991. Flora vitiensis nova. A new flora of Fiji, Vol. 5, Lawaii, Hawaii, USA: Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden.626 pp. doi:https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.title.44033

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Xu SuXia, Huang QingYun, Shu QingYan, Chen Chun, Vick, B. A., 2009. Reproductive organography of Bougainvillea spectabilis Willd. Scientia Horticulturae, 120(3), 399-405. doi: 10.1016/j.scienta.2008.11.023

Distribution References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong M T, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. 1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

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Davidse G, Sousa Sánchez M, Knapp S, Chiang Cabrera F, 2018. Nyctaginaceae. In: Flora Mesoamericana, St Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.

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Figueiredo E, Paiva J, Stévart T, Oliveira F, Smith G F, 2011. Annotated catalogue of the flowering plants of São Tomé and Príncipe. Bothalia. 41 (1), 41-82. http://www.sanbi.org

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018. Flora of China. In: Flora of China. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

Flora of Pakistan, 2018. Flora of Pakistan/Pakistan Plant Database (PPD). Tropicos website. In: Flora of Pakistan/Pakistan Plant Database (PPD). Tropicos website. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.tropicos.org/Project/Pakistan

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Grandtner MM, Chevrette J, 2013. Dictionary of Trees: South America. Nomenclature, taxonomy and ecology., 2 Academic Press. 1176 pp.

GRIIS, 2018. Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species., http://www.griis.org/

Hakim L, Hong SunKee, 2018. Home gardens of the local community of Pancasila Village in Tambora Geopark, Sumbawa Island: biodiversity conservation and ecotourism sites development. Journal of Tropical Life Science. 8 (2), 192-199. DOI:10.11594/jtls.08.02.14

Herrera K, Lorence D H, Flynn T, Balick M J, 2010. Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia with Local Names and Uses. Allertonia. 1-192. https://www.jstor.org/stable/23193787

India Biodiversity Portal, 2018. Online Portal of India Biodiversity. In: Online Portal of India Biodiversity. http://indiabiodiversity.org/species/list

Jørgensen P M, León-Yánez S, 1999. Catalogue of the vascular plants of Ecuador. 1182 pp.

Jørgensen P M, Nee M H, Beck S G, 2014. Catálogo de las plantas vasculares de Bolivia. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden Press. 1741 pp.

Li GuoQing, Arnold R J, Liu FeiFei, Li JieQiong, Chen ShuaiFei, 2015. Identification and pathogenicity of Lasiodiplodia species from Eucalyptus urophylla × grandis, Polyscias balfouriana and Bougainvillea spectabilis in southern China. Journal of Phytopathology. 163 (11/12), 956-967. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1439-0434

MacKee H S, 1994. Catalogue des plantes introduites et cultivées en Nouvelle-Calédonie. Paris, France: Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle. unpaginated.

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

Contributors

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15/05/2018 Original text by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

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