Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tree Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea arborea

Family: Nyctaginaceae (nyk-taj-i-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Bougainvillea (boo-gan-VIL-lee-uh) (Info)
Species: arborea (ar-BOR-ee-uh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

3 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By jnana
Thumbnail #1 of Bougainvillea arborea by jnana

By islandplumeria
Thumbnail #2 of Bougainvillea arborea by islandplumeria


2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive hopper1965 On Mar 27, 2014, hopper1965 from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

I grew a thornless bougainvilea tree in my South Florida front yard. The tree was a marvel and attracted many neighbors' comments on how pretty it was. I even had a few neighbors that took photos in front of the tree when it was in bloom.

The tree had clusters of light-purple flowers that lasted for a very long time. The clusters would lose their color and fade to a light tan and become very paper-like. I usually cut the faded flower clusters off of the tree because they didn't usually fall off on their own.

Unfortunately a hurricane blew through my area and snapped my tree in half. I trimmed it up to reshape it and it grew back even fuller than before. I did, however, notice that the tree grew back WITH thorns on it's branches. It must have mutated after being beaten up...or else it was trying to defend itself after such a heavy trimming.

Alas, the tree succumbed to some unknown disease, bugs or whatnot.

Positive islandplumeria On Feb 15, 2008, islandplumeria from Bokeelia, FL wrote:

Bougainvillea Arborea is the only true tree form of the Bougainvillea genera. It is fast growing, thornless and blooms off and on all year rather than just in the cooler months like some of the Bougainvillea species. It is slightly more tolerant to wet feet than most of the other varieties. As the tree matures, the leaf color becomes much darker green than most other varieties and similar to the leaves of Bougainvillea Glabra (common purple Bougainvillea). Very low maintenance (fertilizer and irrigation) and mostly pest free like all Bougainvillea. Steve

Neutral jnana On Sep 14, 2006, jnana from South Florida, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

This Bougainvillea differs from the other Bougainvillea in that is grows as a tree rather than a climbing shrub. It is also thornless and the flowers have a slight fragrance like honeysuckle. It can grow up to 30' tall. It's quite a striking tree when in bloom. At a distance it can be easily mistaken by a Crape Myrtle.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tucson, Arizona
Bokeelia, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Point Comfort, Texas

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