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Products > Bougainvillea 'Barbara Karst'
 
Bougainvillea 'Barbara Karst'
   

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Vine
Family: Nyctaginaceae (Four O¹Clock)
Origin: Brazil (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Parentage: (B. 'Crimson Lake' x B. 'Sanderiana')
Height: Climbing (Vine)
Width: Spreading
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
Bougainvillea 'Barbara Karst' - A moderately-vigorous large evergreen vine with dull dark green broadly-ovate pointed leaves that have a slightly wavy margin. It produces its magenta red bracts all along the entire length of its stems in multiple flushes over a very long season from late spring through fall and often into winter (profusely) in mild years with the small white flowers conspicuous against the bracts. Plant in full sun to bring out the bright color of the bracts, if planted in more shade the color will dull to a reddish-blue. It requires very little irrigation along the coast once established. Hardy to about 20-25 degrees F and noted to be one of the hardiest of the bougainvillea and tolerates desert heat well. This is the best flowering of the large Bougainvillea in Santa Barbara and it is considered to be an interspecific hybrid involving two or more of the species Bougainvillea spectabilis, B. glabra and B. peruviana. It was selected by James E. (Jim) Hendry Jr. at his Everglades Nursery in Fort Myer, Florida in the 1940s and named after his daughter. Reportedly it was Jim Hendry's grandmother, Julia Frierson, who brought the first magenta-colored Bougainvilles glabra 'Sanderiana' vine into Florida from Cuba in 1875. 'Barbara Karst' is thought to be a cross between this plant and the cultivar 'Crimson Lake'. 'Barbara Karst' is similar to the cultivar 'San Diego Red' (AKA 'Scarlet O'Hara'), which has larger leaves and fewer but larger orange-red blooms in clusters. We have grown this cultivar since 1981. The name for the genus honors the French admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville (1729-1811). Bougainville first visited South American in 1764 on a voyage to settle the Falkland Islands and in 1766 he left on a journey to become the first Frenchman to circumnavigate the globe. On this trip he was accompanied by the botanist Philibert Commerçon, who reportedly named the plant they found 'Bougainvillea' but it was not officially described until 1789 by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu. Jussieu actually misspelled the name as Buginvillea, and this name was not corrected until the 20th century. Further intrigue regarding this plant's discovery is that it may have actually been discovered by Philibert Commerçon's assistant (and possibly his lover) Jeanne Baré, who he had snuck onboard, disguising her as a man.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Bougainvillea 'Barbara Karst'.
 
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