bougainvillea or bougainvillaea both: bo͞o˝gənvĭl´ēə [key] [for L. A. de Bougainville ], any plant of the genus Bougainvillea of the family Nyctaginaceae ( four-o'clock family); chiefly tropical American woody vines with showy petallike bracts, usually in shades of brilliant red or purple. Bougainvilleas are classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Magnoliopsida, order Caryophyllales, family Nyctaginaceae.

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