Nature Friday ~ December 7, 2018

Welcome to Friday where we once again join our fur-iends Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard for Nature Friday.

When I was in Mexico recently there were such amazing sights I came across, combining the beauty of nature and the artistic nature of man. One day in particular stuck out in my mind-a trip to Old Town. Located across from the iconic crowned Renaissance-style towered church, Our Lady of Guadalupe is a beautiful and colorful plaza where visitors can relax, people watch and listen for the church bells that are rung by the sextants every 30 and 15 minutes prior to each service. Filled with colorful banners mixing traditional Christian and Aztec motifs, there were loads of flowers and plants to provide a charming respite in a busy spot in the cobble stoned enter. Many of the plants I was familiar with, but only as house plants. Seeing them in a garden setting left me in awe.

Mexican Plaza

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
Church as viewed from the plaza

Everywhere it seemed that Bougainvillea were in brilliant bloom throughout the landscape. In Mexico they are known as bugambilia but in my mind they are simply  spectacular. The thorny ornamental vines/bushes/trees with flower-like spring leaves near its flowers can grown up to 40 feet tall. The thorns are tipped with a black, waxy substance. In tropical areas, the popular ornamental plant remains evergreen where rainfall is plentiful all year-long, or deciduous if there is a dry season. In Colorado we only know them as potted plants that beautify our patios during the summer and brought indoors in winter as they are quite frost sensitive. They are frequently seen in natural settings in the southern states. Sometimes referred to as “paper flower,” the bracts are thin and papery. The actual flower is small and usually white; each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts of the bright colours typically associated with the plant. They can be pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow. Bougainvillea glabrais sometimes referred to as “paper flower” because the bracts are thin and papery. The fruit is a narrow five-lobed achene. The first European to describe these striking plants was Philibert Commerçon, a botanist who accompanied the French Navy admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville during his circumnavigation voyage of earth and first published for him by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in 1789. Introduced in Europe in the early 19th century, French and British nurseries did a thriving trade providing specimens to Australia and other faraway lands. There are over 300 varieties of Bougainvillea around the world and many hybrids.

Hope you have a terrific weekend and are able to enjoy your own special spot of nature.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

41 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ December 7, 2018

  1. Oh, we gots lots of those plants here! They survive Ma’s brown thumb, so you knows they are hearty! BOL!!! The one on our front porch is bloomin’ right now, it is very purty and makes Ma smile.
    Your trip looks like it was so much funs!
    Kisses,
    Ruby ♥

    1. What a great way to welcome peeps with one of those gorgeous plants on the porch! So jealous-all people see these days is brown everywhere. Ugh. It was a fun trip, Ruby and the margaritas were pretty legendary. 🍹

  2. They are gorgeous! I love the brilliant colors, especially with our somewhat less brilliant landscape here at this time of year.

  3. We’ve got 3 bougainvillea at the house now but that’s a far cry from our Hawaii house (pre-condo) where I used to grow them on a steep hillside below the lanai. I think we had about a dozen gigantic ones mixed with some big sago palms. they are easy to grow in the islands but even in SoCal they’re pretty low maintenance.

  4. Mom says your beautiful photos make her feel warm and happy – it is just too cold here for her old bones:)

    Have a great weekend.

    Woos – Lightning, Misty, and Timber

    1. Happy to spread a little warmth on cold December days. I may have to have a couple of those photos laminated and carry with me. I’m not handling 20 degree days very well myself. 🥶

  5. What a beautiful and interesting flower – I did not know all that about it! It’s something I’ve never had in my own gardens, and I wonder if it is common in our area.

    1. If you have it at all, it’d be in hanging baskets or pots and offered at big box stores. Bougainvillea likes hot temps. I’ve never had any luck keeping it alive (most likely because I’m so stingy with water).

    1. On the one hand, I’m jealous of the nice weather, on the other I enjoy beauty in all 4 seasons.

  6. Nature is marvellous, isn’t she? I’m always learning something new with you! To me, I might have known they were bougainvillea but not any of the other terms 😉

    1. I didn’t know the other terms either and only discovered it when I looked it up. I can never spell that plant unless I look it up. 🤣

  7. I love seeing these beautiful pictures from your Mexican vacation, especially while I’m sitting here trying to wrap my cold hands around a cup of hot tea! I know that Bougainvilleas are common in Louisiana, but that’s all I knew about them until today. 🙂 Oh, and Lucy says to tell Sam Hi! for her.

    1. Let me tell you the 20F mornings after that trip are totally messing up my internal thermometer too. I carry around a hot cup of something all day long! ☕️

  8. We are fogged in this morning because of all the rain we’ve been having so these bright skies and beautiful flowers are a welcomed sight.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ♥

  9. Here in Arizona, we’re lucky enough to have bougainvillea grow outdoors. It does die off in the winter and comes back in the summer. It loves the heat.

    1. Happy to bring a spot of color to your world. It’s been cold and a little grey here too if that’s any consolation. Have a swell weekend.

  10. The first time I visited Disney World in December, I was struck by the poinsettias planted in the ground. Here they are a house plant. There were such beautiful natural displays.

    1. I had a similar experience when I moved to San Diego for a short period of time in the late 60’s. There was a poinsettia hedge next to my apartment complex that was at least 6 feet tall. I went out to see them every day because I was so mesmerized. Just incredible.

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