Bougainvilleas can be used as landscape element in the form of canopies dotting the garden with steel framework in tree form. This is a synthesis of architecture and landscape, write A.B. Reddy and Anoosha Balmoori

Bougainvillea is a genus of flowering plants native to South America. This is also referred as paper flower (kagitapu puvvu) as the bracts of the flowers are thin and papery.

They are thorny, woody vines growing anywhere from 1 to 12 metres tall, scrambling over other plants with their spiky thorns.

They are evergreen where rainfall occurs all year, or deciduous if there is a dry season.

The actual flower of the plant is small and generally white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts with the bright colours associated with the plant, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow.

Bougainvilleas are popular ornamental plants in most areas with warm climates. Bougainvillea can be used as a houseplant or hanging basket in cooler climates. In the landscape, it makes an excellent hot season plant, and its drought tolerance makes it ideal for warm climates year-round.

It can be pruned into a standard, but is also grown along fence lines, on walls, in containers and hanging baskets, and as a hedge or an accent plant.

Its long arching thorny branches bear heart-shaped leaves and masses of papery bracts in different colours.

When we impose a geometric order on the landscape, we inhabit the landscape with human thought. When they do, they are referring to the prominent, permanent elements that give form and structure to their landscapes which give the site a character.

Likewise we come across such type of landscape structures by Emmett Wemple and Dan Kiley, who were the landscape architects of The Getty Center of Los Angeles, USA. They made use of Bougainvilleas as their landscape element in the form of canopies dotting the garden with steel framework in the tree form. This is a synthesis of architecture and landscape.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is spending lots of money for developing parks and avenue plantation in the city and the same can be done creatively. It can use this kind of landscape elements in the parks as focal points and as avenue trees to create different types of vistas.

This can be planted to create dynamic effect in a stretch on both sides of the roads with different colours having a break of different plants to avoid monotony.

This type of elements can be easily maintainable and can withstand in all the climatic conditions of the city.

(The authors are architects and can be contacted at ‘’)