bou·​gain·​vil·​lea | \ˌbü-gən-ˈvil-yə, ˌbō-, ˌbu̇-, -ˈvē-ə \
variants: or less commonly bougainvillaea

Definition of bougainvillea 

: any of a genus (Bougainvillaea) of the four-o'clock family of ornamental tropical American woody vines and shrubs with brilliant purple or red floral bracts

Examples of bougainvillea in a Sentence

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To continue reading this story, TRY IT NOW Consider bougainvillea, firebush, pentas, moss roses and peppers for containers on your patio. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "Container plants perfect for the San Antonio summer heat," 15 June 2018 Hot pink is the color of tropical Key West, from the garish bougainvillea spilling over every fence and wall to the petunias and hibiscus in its lush gardens to the houses and buildings themselves, gaily painted in every shade of pink. Lee Smith, Southern Living, "WATCH: Memories of My Summer of 1958 in Paradise," 19 June 2018 Iguana-proof plants: Iguanas are herbivores and love to munch on bougainvillea, hibiscus, orchids, mangoes and bananas, according to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension. Doreen Christensen,, "Expert tips on how to control iguanas," 21 June 2018 All bougainvillea varieties are cyclical in their bloom, usually with a six-week period of color followed by three or four weeks without flowers. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "Container plants perfect for the San Antonio summer heat," 15 June 2018 But the state’s oldest incorporated city — founded in 1849, the year before California joined the union — remains a lush oasis of bougainvillea and palms, prolific fruit trees and mighty oaks. Freda Moon, New York Times, "36 Hours in Sacramento," 31 May 2018 The restaurant, which opened in 1933, is tucked into a patio encircled by palm trees, orchids, birds of paradise, bougainvillea and ferns. Elizabeth Zach,, "Cuernavaca: A side trip into opulence, only an hour away from Mexico's capital," 9 Apr. 2018 In the garden’s courtyards and Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, visitors can view pineapple, papaya and banana plants, hundreds of hibiscus, sugarcane, gardenias and bougainvillea. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "See Georgia O’Keeffe’s Little-Known Hawaii Paintings Blossom Next to Real Plants," 30 May 2018 What steals the show is the swimming pool lined with tall palm trees and fragrant gardens with roses, bougainvillea and hibiscus. Anja Mutic, New York Times, "On Croatia’s Coast, Stunning Pools and a Mediterranean Mood," 5 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bougainvillea.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bougainvillea

1849, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bougainvillea

New Latin, from Louis Antoine de Bougainville

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The first known use of bougainvillea was in 1849

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English Language Learners Definition of bougainvillea

: a tropical plant that has usually red or purple flowers

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