Guam Territorial Flower
Great Bougainvillea (common name)
Bougainvillea Spectabilis(scientific name)
Guam’s favorite bougainvillea is actually native to Latin American forests, but Guam’s climate suits the plant well and bougainvillea grows all over the island in gardens and in the wild. Europeans originally found the flowers on Brazil’s coast in 1768. French naturalist Philibert Commerçon named the plant after Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, the admiral of the ship on which he was traveling. Spanish colonists later introduced the plant to Guam, and the island’s moist, tropical climate suited the bougainvillea.
Flowers grow in groups of three. The tiny, tubular flowers are surrounded by papery, pointed, petal-like bracts that are brightly colored, often in shades of orangey pink or magenta. Flowers grow in clusters at the ends of vines. Plants tend to re-bloom periodically throughout the year, and produce more flowers when conditions are dry. The flowers yield small, five-lobed dry fruits called achenes, each containing a single seed. The plants, however, normally don’t spread through seeds, but through vines and runners. Gardeners also propagate the plants through cuttings. Bougainvillea have long, sharp curved thorns, which protect them and also help them to climb.
Plant: Vining Shrub
Mature Height: Up tp 30 (9 m)
Flowers: .1–.2 in (3–5 mm) tubes surrounded by three papery bracts
Flower Color: Pink, red, orange, white, or yellow
Leaves: Up to 4 in (10 cm) long, heart-shaped, deep green
Fruit/Seed Color: Brown
Location: Open, sunny areas with fertile soil and only moderate rainfall.
Range: Island-wide on Guam and throughout the tropics.
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|Author: World Trade Press|