bougainvillea or bougainvillaea (both: bōˌgənvĭlˈēə) [key] [for L. A. de Bougainville], any plant of the genus Bougainvillea of the family Nyctaginaceae (four-o'clock family); chiefly tropical American woody vines with showy petallike bracts, usually in shades of brilliant red or purple. Bougainvilleas are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Caryophyllales, family Nyctaginaceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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