Answer to the Front Page Picture of the Week Question
for April 8th - 18th, 2005
This is paper-flower, Bougainvillea glabra.
Bougainvillea glabra is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 9 and 10, it is evergreen, prefers full sun,
and can reach an ultimate height of 20 feet. This particular paper-flower bonsai
plant has been in training since 1981, and is under 3 feet tall. The common name,
paper-flower, is somewhat misleading because it implies that the bright papery
pink structures are flowers, when in fact they are bracts. Bracts are
modified leaves that hold flower parts. The true flower is the small white
structure at the center of the vibrant bracts (see inset). You can view paper-flower
in the Haruo Kaneshiro Tropical Conservatory at the
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum.