Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Beautiful Bougainvilleas

As our summer semester in the beautiful Italy sadly concludes, I decided to take a moment to reflect on my time here, think back on some of my favorite sights, and go through all of my pictures. While I shuffled through my camera, I noticed that I took a similar picture in most of the towns we visited out of the twenty plus places on this trip. It appears that most towns, especially ones nearer to the coast, had several instances of a bright purple vine growing along a wall. I, admittedly, may not always notice horticultural elements of a place, but I always seemed to be in awe of these purple flowers growing on the walls and how well they accented these already beautiful towns. On the last day of class, I finally decided to show our horticulture professor one of my pictures of the vines, asked him what they were called, and further did a little research of my own. They are apparently called Bougainvilleas and are considered evergreen, woody vines with spines. Their vibrant color comes from the bracts that surround the flower. Bourgainvilleas were named after a French explorer who first found them in South America. Being a plant native to this area, the Bourgainvilleas are popular in areas with generally warm climates year round, which is why they bloom so well in Italy. They can survive in direct sun exposure or in the shade, but do not do as well in the winter climates. Furthermore, I was surprised to hear that this beautiful vine can actually grow well and survive in places in Texas where the climate in generally warmer like Houston and San Antonio! I will definitely be on the look out for these beautiful purple Bougainvilleas when we return to the states as they will always bring me back to our time in Italy!


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