Bougainvillea spectabilis grows as a woody vine or shrub, reaching 15 to 40 feet (4.6 to 12.2 m) with heart-shaped leaves and thorny, pubescent stems. The flowers are generally small, white, and inconspicuous, highlighted by several brightly colored modified leaves called bracts. The bracts can vary in color, ranging from white, red, mauve, purple-red, or orange. Its fruit is a small, inconspicuous, dry, elongated achene.
Bougainvillea spectabilis is native to Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, and Chubut Province, Argentina, but it has been introduced in many other areas and can be seen in almost all islands of Maldives. Bougainvillea spectabilis can grow in hardiness zones 10-11, preferring full sun , dry conditions, and fertile soil. It can be propagated from stem and root cuttings.
In Maldives, bougainvillea spectabilis is one of most common used garden plant. Not known medicinal purpose of this tree in Maldives but has been reported to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-tumor, anti-hypercholestrolemic, anti-hyperlipidemic, and anti-fertility properties. The Yanadi tribe of Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh, India, once used the leaves of Bougainvillea spectabilis to heal diabetes. The plant is also widely grown as an ornamental plant.