Field of Science

Bougainvillea bonsai

A friend gave Mrs. Phactor a bonsai tree, a Bougainvillea, as a gift. After a dormant period over the past winter when the tree dropped its leaves and was kept in a cool semi-bright location, it was moved into a brighter location, and the buds began to open. Much to our pleasure and surprise, the initial flush produced a very attractive "flowering" display. Actually the flowers are fairly small and white (upper left) mostly still unopened, but each is borne upon a colorful bract, a modified leaf, produced in whorls of three. In this variety the bracts are pink; white, red, and fuchsia are also available. The whole tree is about 8-9 inches tall. How cute is that?


CelticRose said...

Wow, it's hard to imagine a bonsai bougainvillea. Around here (Mesa, AZ) they grow huge and have to be pruned constantly to keep them from taking over. And pruning is no fun since they're covered in wicked thorns.

The Phytophactor said...

Yes, Bougainvillea can cover a house, but apparently you can whack them back severely. Actually the bonsai was probably started as a rooted cutting. The surprise is that such a small plant has such a big flowering display.