Bougainvillea is one of our favorite plants as it reminds us of Hawaii where it grows profusely everywhere. The history of the plant is a little interesting.

The first European to describe these plants was Pilibert Commercon,  a botanist accompanying French Navy admiral Louis Antoine de Bougainville (after whom it was obviously named)  during his voyage of circumnavigation of the  earth. It is possible that the first European to observe these plants was Jeanne Bare,  Commerçon’s lover and assistant, who was an expert in botany. Because she was not allowed on ship as a woman, she disguised herself as a man in order to make the journey (and thus became the first woman to circumnavigate the globe).

Each summer Betty likes to get a couple of plants to grace our flagstone courtyard…

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