Paper flower (Bougainvillea glabra): Distribution, Habit, Morphology, Propagation, and Uses

Paper flower (Bougainvillea glabra): Distribution and Morphology


Kingdom – Plantae

Order – Caryophyllales

Family – Nyctaginaceae

Genus- Bougainvillea

Species -B. glabra

Local Name –Paper flower.


Bougainvillea glabra is a South American native that thrives in tropical and subtropical regions. Originating in South America, it is now widely produced throughout the Caribbean and tropical regions, as well as in temperate climatic zones.


The habit of a circular plant with many or clumping stalks that can reach a height of up to 20 feet. It ascends by ejecting slender, highly curved arching canes. The undulate leaf set alternates with easy leaves. The blade is 2–4 cm in circumference and comes in a variety of shapes, including globular, elliptic, obviated, ovate, and cordate. While some cultivars have variegated leaves, they are usually mid-to-dark grey. Small, tubular blooms with colorful bracts are the actual, exquisite blossoms. The bracts encircling each bulb are what give Bougainvillea its vibrant colors, not the unattractive, generally white or yellow bulbs.


Bougainvillea glabra is a popular ornamental plant that grows primarily in gardens and is rich in red and pink hues. Bougainvillea is a genus of plants of the Nyctaginaceae (4 O’clock) family with 18 species, three of which are horticulturally important: Bougainvillea spectabilis, B. glabra, and B. peruviana. Bougainvillea glabra ‘Snow White’ is a cultivar of Bougainvillea glabra ‘Choicy,’ with white bracts and greenish veins. Bougainvillea glabra ‘Choicy’ has been utilized by Mandsaur’s traditional healers for several ailments, including diarrhea, stomach acidity reduction, cough, and sore throat, the decoction of dried flowers for blood vessels and leucorrhea, and decoction of the stem for hepatitis.

Bougainvillea glabra

Morphology characters:

1. Bougainvillea glabra is a flowering shrub that is also known as a paper flower. Many tropical and subtropical areas, such as the Middle East, North America, Brazil, and India, are home to this species. Bougainvillea glabra is one of 18 species in the genus Bougainvillea.

2. Bougainvillea glabra is a brightly colored flower that grows in front of houses and offices, as well as on walls and fences. Bougainvillea is a common ornamental plant found in tropical and subtropical gardens all over the world.

3. It can be cultivated as a shrub or a climber. Crochet thorns are thorny woody weeds that grow to be around 1- 12 meters long and scrape over other plants.

4. The bougainvillea blossom is a true, perfect flower with stunning, colorful brackets surrounding it. The brightly colored bracts are modified leaves, developed to lure pollinators to the upper surface’s colorless and acentless blooms.

5. The leaves of Bougainvillea glabra are said to offer anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperglycaemic, anti-insecticidal, antihyperglycaemic, anti-ulcer, and antibacterial properties. Its antiviral protein has also been identified.

6. Bougainvillea glabra has been utilized by Mandsaurin practitioners for a variety of ailments, including diarrhea, acidity reduction, cough, and sore throat infusion of dried flowers for blood vessels and leucorrhoea, and stem decoction for hepatitis.

7. Small hairs cover the leaves in general. The flowers come in a variety of colors, including white, red, yellow, orange, violet, and purple.

8. With multifreeze and wide clumping trunks that stretch up to 2-4 m, the trunk is an immortal woody grape. It climbs by launching slender, angled thorn-arching canes into the air.

9. The stems are slender and covered in prickles. During development, the stems change color from mid-green to dark green, and brown. Bark and Corky are both light-skinned.

10. The leaves are 5-10 cm long and 2-6 cm wide, with rounded oval shapes. The leaves have a rich green color with a leathery texture and hairy underside. They have a slim cream tint, hairy pipes, and a magnificent setting. The rusty-red, magenta, and purple bracts are pink, very big, and egg-shaped. They’re frequently colored.

11. The fruit is 1-2 cm long and has a five-lobed acene. It has a dry hard fruit shell and is quite unusual. It’s not flashy.

12. They are always lush, whether there is precipitation all year or dung during the dry season.

13. The ovate’s leaves alternate in length from 4 to 13 cm. The plant’s actual flower is small and usually white, but three to six bracts with vibrant colors of rose, magenta, purple, red-orange, white, or pink are surrounded by three clusters of flora, each of which is surrounded by three clusters of flora.

14. The vines can reach heights of up to 12 meters (3 to 40 feet) and scramble over other plants with their stinging thorns. A dark, waxy material coats the tips of the thorns. They are either evergreen or deciduous depending on whether there is a wet or dry season.

Cultivation and collection

Bougainvillea can withstand temperatures above 100°F in hot, dry conditions. It thrives in temperatures ranging from 65°F at night to 75–95°F during the day. B. glabra is more tolerant of colder temperatures (58–64°F) than B. spectabilis (64–68°F). Bougainvillea thrives in areas with at least 25 inches of annual rainfall. Bougainvillea thrives on acidic (pH 5.5–6.0) soil that is rich, well-drained, and well-drained. It does not grow well in continually wet soil. The availability of mineral elements is influenced by the pH of the soil. Micronutrient deficiencies, notably iron deficiency, are more likely in soils with pH levels exceeding 6.0. Bougainvillea is drought resilient, salt-tolerant, and wind-resistant; however, when stems whip in high-speed winds, the bark will rub off at ground level. Compared to other shrubs, the plant takes a long time to recuperate.


Propagation through cuttings is possible, but due to Bougainvillea’s incredibly tiny root structure, it can be slow and difficult. Bougainvillea roots well from 5 to 9 node semi-hardwood cuttings. When night temperatures are over 55 degrees F, take softwood cuttings; when night temperatures are below 55 degrees F, take hardwood cuttings. Apply between 3000 and 6000 ppm IBA to clippings. Leaves should be removed from all parts of the stem that will be buried. According to certain studies, thicker cuttings with higher auxin concentrations yield better roots; yet, high auxin levels can cause stunted branching. Rooting will be accelerated by using bottom heat. Cuttings must never be allowed to wilt and must be misted intermittently from above. At all times, high relative humidity must be maintained around the plants. The rooting process takes 6-12 weeks. To avoid root rot, always use a broad-spectrum fungicide drench when planting cuttings and again after transplanting.

Bougainvillea glabra Flower

Useful Parts of Plant

Bougainvillea glabra was utilized by traditional Mandsaur healers for a variety of ailments, including diarrhea, stomach acidity reduction, cough, sore throat, blood flow drying, leucorrhoea, and hepatitis stem decoction. The main ingredient is leaves. Plants include active compounds such as pinitol, betacyanin, flavonoid, tannins, and alkaloids.

Traditional Use

Leaves are the most commonly utilized component. Alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, and proteins are among the leaf’s known ingredients. Insecticidal, anti-inflammatory, antidiarrheal, anti-hyperglycaemic, anti-ulcer, and anti-microbial action have been observed in the leaves of Bougainvillea glabra choicy. Use in Traditional Medicine. Coughing and pertussis are treated with the species B. buttiana, B. glabra, and B. spectabilis in traditional medicine. Asthma, bronchitis, and dysentery are all treated with B. glabra. It is used for stomach aches, rust, pimples, and blackheads in a small percentage of instances.Other respiratory disorders treated with B. spectabilis include snoring, lung discomfort, fu, and bronchitis. There is no research in the literature about the traditional usage of other Bougainvillea species and hybrids in medicine. However, because both are disseminated and recorded in Morelos, Mexico, and both are used to cure cough and whooping cough, the hybrid B. x buttiana was mistaken for B. buttiana.

The herb has traditionally been used to treat ulcers, coughs, diarrhea, hepatitis, and as an expectorant. The leaves have a variety of characteristics, including anti-diabetic4, anti-viral5, anti-inflammatory3, anti-microbial6, and anti-fertility. Cancer is a fatal disease characterized by aberrant cell growth, malignancy, and metastatic activity. Current cancer chemotherapy medications mostly target rapidly dividing cells. These medicines cause mitotic arrest and are cytotoxic. Apoptosis is a type of cell death that occurs when cells are designed to die. Polyphenols, such as tannins, are said to have apoptotic properties. Because Bougainvillea glabra contains a variety of phytochemicals, including polyphenols, the current study will use different legume seeds to screen for antimitotic efficacy. Inhibition of sprouting in Bengal gram (Cicer arietinum), Green gramme (Vigna radiata), and Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) indicate that the extract is causing mitotic arrest in the M phase of the cell cycle.

Bougainvillea glabra In India

Bougainvilleas are widely used in aesthetic gardening and as a plant for avenue decorating in India. Flowering season and intensity, on the other hand, vary dramatically. Bougainvilleas, with their colorful bracts and mass blossoming, grace every region of India. The agro-climatic seasons of Southern India, which includes Bangalore, Mysore, Chennai, and Hyderabad, are favorable. Blooming occurs in sequence and profusion from February to April and August to October. Similarly, due to the region’s temperate climate, the Pune, Nasik, Nagpur, and Bombay districts of Western India frequently have extensive blossoming in flashes throughout the year. In comparison to Northern India, the flowering time in Eastern, Western, and Southern India is usually longer. Bougainvilleas bloom in large numbers in Northern India (Delhi, Chandigarh, Patiala, Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur) and surrounding areas from March to May, followed by pre-winter blossoming in November and December. Bougainvilleas go dormant during the coldest months of the year (December to January), due to the low temperatures and lack of sunlight. The performance of Bougainvilleas in terms of growth and flowering is also notable in steep areas. They can be grown at elevations ranging from 1500 to 2000 meters above sea level. Solan, Shimla, Almora, Nanital, and other northern hilly locations have had good blossoming. Bougainvillea is a shrubby, hardy plant with an alternating leaf pattern. Flowers have a tubular form and are linked to the spectacular heart-shaped bracts, making them inconspicuous. DUS (Distinctiveness, Uniformity, and Stability) test protocols were used to characterize 25 Indian Bougainvillea cultivars. Based on morphological parameters, the characterization results will be beneficial for identifying the kinds and their usage in attractive gardening (Zadoo, 1975; Zadoo, 1976; Sharma and Roy, 2000).


Alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, and proteins have been found in the leaves of Bougainvillea glabra ‘Choicy’. Insecticidal, anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrheal, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-ulcer, and anti-microbial action have been observed in the leaves of Bougainvillea glabra ‘Choicy’. Despite the multiple uses and pharmacological activity associated with Bougainvillea glabra choicy, no pharmacological information about the leaves of this plant cultivar Bougainvillea glabra ‘Snow White’ has been found. As a result, the current study is an attempt in this direction, and it includes an evaluation of the hydroalcoholic antibacterial activity.


Question: What is the Scientific Name of the Paper flower.

Ans: Bougainvillea glabra

Question: What is the common of Bougainvillea glabra

Ans: Paper flower

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