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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - December 18, 2008

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Identification of non-native bougainvillea
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is the Scientific Name of the Central Texas Ornamental that people call Bogan Vilias. I think that is the correct spelling. The Plant is Perenial. Their flowers are terminal, the petals are in threes, the corallas are in threes, and each branch can produce a different color flower, some red, some pink, some orange. They also have claws, or thorns on the branches similar to the Catclaw Family. The leaves are palm-like and are alternate. I am spooked! Can you help me?

ANSWER:

The bougainvillea, scientific name: Bougainvillea spp., far from being a Central Texas ornamental (although widely grown as such) is actually a native of South America from Brazil to Peru, and therefore falls outside the expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. However, we found several websites that can answer your questions and also pictures so you can see that it is the plant you described.

Texas A&M Education Growing Bougainvilleas

Floridata Bougainvillea spp.

Pictures

 

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