Bougainvillea, the Rest of the Story


How is bougainvillea related to Jeanne Baret, the first woman to circumnavigate the globe? Bougainvillea, the Rest of the Story.

Bougainvillea, the Rest of the Story

Bougainvillea, and the Rest of the Story

I thought bougainvillea was a nuisance plant. It grows like a weed here in Southern California. I once had a bougainvillea near the walkway leading to my door in Riverside when I first went to work overseas. The plant grew wild and literally blocked the entrance to the home. My parents had to cut a way through the bush to clear a path for the poor postman (and my tenant!). 

Bougainvillea, the Rest of the Story
Thorny Plant

I later began to appreciate the qualities of bougainvillea in Malaysia and the Middle East. It just needs a little love and attention. It can be a house plant for anyone who doesn't like other people (nasty thorns!). Likewise it can be a fence. I like to think of it as a colorful tree. It is very easy to grow. 

Bougainvillea, the Rest of the Story

What we like about bougainvillea are the leaves. Not just any leaves, but the bracts. Bracts on the Bougainvillea are the brightly colored, paper thin leaves. They surround three small pale flowers. 


Bougainvillea make great Bonsai trees. I recently saw examples at the Huntington Botanical Gardens. Here is a like to how to make your own bougainvillea bonsai: https://www.bonsaiempire.com/tree-species/bougainvillea

Propagation of Bougainvillea

Find your favorite variety in the neighborhood, cut a stem, stick it in the ground. It is that easy. No wonder it is found all over the world. But how did the that happen? Blame those darn European explorers. 

During an age of scientific exploration in the 1760s, the French and British sent expeditions to collect biological specimens from around the world. The collections were both physical and with art. The expeditions were not nice meet and greets and often included intimidation of the locals. Hence the fate of Capitan Cook.

On one of the French journeys, the botanist was Philibert Commerson. He and his assistant were given the captain's cabin on a store ship, the Étoile. This gave Commerson the space he needed for his equipment and the luxury of a private bath.

The privacy was important, as his assistant was Jeanne Baret, a woman and his companion. Baret was disguised as a woman. Women were forbidden on French naval vessels. Baret took care of the often sick Commerson. While in Rio de Janeiro, the ship's chaplain was murdered. Though officially confined to the ship, she managed to collect plants, including a colorful vine.

She continued to collect plant specimens in Patagonia and on islands in the Pacific. However in Tahiti, she was outed as a woman by the locals.

First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe

Bougainvillea, the Rest of the Story

Eventually the expedition dropped off Commerson and his companion in Mauritius, where they continued their plant research. After Commerson's death, Jeanne Baret became a business woman and married a French soldier. 

The newlyweds returned to France where she had inherited property from Commerson. She also received a stipend from the French navy and recognition as the first women to circumnavigate the globe in the writings of the expedition's leader.

The colorful vine she collect in Rio? She and Commerson named it after the leader of the French expedition, Louis Antoine de Bougainville

Now you know the rest of the story.

Bougainvillea, the Rest of the Story



Abu Dhabi,5,Ambience,6,Around the World,2,Aussie_Drop_Tomato,1,Away,24,bags,1,Bangkok,2,Barossa_Fest_Tomato,1,Beans,4,Beijing,1,Beit_Alpha_Cucumber,1,Bhaktapur,1,Birds,20,Blockade,5,Bouquet_Dill,1,Bread,1,California,3,Cambodia,1,Cascading Garden,1,China,2,Chitwan,1,Choke Point,1,Citrus,8,companion plants,1,Composting,1,Containers,9,Containers_Choice_Red_F1_Tomato,1,Cooking,1,Coorong_Pink_Tomato,1,corn,1,Critter-Cam,1,Dinosaurs,1,DIY,1,Dove Nest Camera,16,Dwarf_Bendigo_Dawn_Tomato,2,Dwarf_Desert_Star_Tomato,2,Dwarf_Egypt_Yellow_Tomato,2,Dwarf_Modern_Roman_Tomato,1,Dwarf_Perfect_Harmony_Tomato,1,Dwarf_Pink_Opal_Tomato,2,Dwarf_Sneaky_Sauce_Tomato,2,Dwarf_Sunnys_Pear_Tomato,3,Earthquake,3,education,8,Eggplants,1,Favorites,1,Featured,4,Festivals,5,fiber,2,Flowers,8,Food,5,Fountain,2,Freds_Tie_Dye_Tomato,2,Fruit,7,Garden,6,Garden Notes,33,Garden Pond,1,Gardening,17,Grapes,5,Greater Roadrunner,1,health,1,Home,136,Insects,12,Journeys,4,kathmandu,24,Kinetic Still Life,1,Lemon_Grass,1,lemons,1,Life in the Valley,3,live camera,14,Lizard,2,Monkeys,2,Monty Don,1,Muzuna,1,nature,1,Nepal,30,Nest Camera,1,News,77,Notes,29,Other Lands,1,Overseas,1,Peace,8,Peas,1,Peppers,3,Photography,42,plants,1,Potatoes,1,preserving,1,pump,1,QR Code,1,Quick_Snack_F1_Cucumber,1,Raksi,1,recipes,18,Recycle Garden,4,Reflections,3,Reliance_Grape,1,Review,1,Rhino,1,Ricoh Theta S,1,Root_Vegetables,4,Ruby_Red_Swiss_Chard,1,Salad Garden,2,Seed Starter Tray #1,1,Site Reviews,1,Slow_Bolt_Cilantro,1,smartpots,1,Soap Box,1,solar,1,Spice Garden,6,Spices,6,squash,2,Steps Vertical Garden,1,stone_fruit,2,Stone_Garden,1,Strawberries,1,Sturt_Desert_Pea_Tomato,2,Ta Prohm,1,Tarragon,1,Technology,1,Thai_Basil_Siam_Queen,1,The Expatriate Experience,14,The Hanging Gardens of the Townhouse,1,The Stone Fruit Wall,1,The_Big_Bag,5,The_Six_Pot_Plot,1,This Digital Life,1,This Expatriate Life,8,three sisters,1,thrips,1,Tibet,1,Tiger,1,Tomatoes,7,TownHouse,3,Travel,11,Travel Classics,4,Tutorials,11,University of California,3,University of Texas,1,Vegetables,12,Vertical_Garden,1,Videos,4,West stone wall,1,Wild Rock Garden,1,Wildlife,33,Willas_Cariboo_Rose_Tomato,1,Window Boxes,1,Working Featured,1,Working Overseas,35,Yeti,1,
Townhouse Gardening: Bougainvillea, the Rest of the Story
Bougainvillea, the Rest of the Story
How is bougainvillea related to Jeanne Baret, the first woman to circumnavigate the globe? Bougainvillea, the Rest of the Story.
Townhouse Gardening
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy Table of Content