Bougainvillea buttiana
(sold as Barbara Karst)

Family: Nyctaginaceae

Synonyms: Bougainvillea barbara karst, Bougainvillea x buttiana

Native to: Subtropical South America, Tropical South America

Sentiment: passion

Plant

Type: vine

Form: spreading

Leaves evergreen

Max height: 0.00 feet

Max width: 32.8 feet

Flower

pink, red, secondary color present

Leaf

green

new growth distinct

Horticulture

Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly

Plant features: climbing vine, evergreen, growth rate fast

Exposure: light shade, sun

Landscape uses: arbor, container, ground cover, trellis or espalier

Fast growing

Propagates by: cutting

flowers in summer

Soil type: wide range

USDA Zones: zone 9 to +20 f, zone 10 to +30 f

Temp. range: +20 to +30 °F

Water: moderate, regular

  • Bougainvillea barbara karst  6260022
  • Bougainvillea barbara karst  6260024 2
  • Bougainvillea barbara karst  6260024
  • Bougainvillea barbara karst  6260025

Bougainvillea buttiana, 'Barbara Karst', is a really nice addition to a garden and will attract butterflies. This plant is generally given support, typically provided with a large trellis or something else for it to climb. It is covered in blossoms during late spring and summer and really makes quite a colorful display.

The adult Gulf Fritillary and other local butterflies have been sighted feeding on its red blossoms. Locally, Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) prefer red-blooming Bougainvillea over the yellow-blooming cultivars. We have them growing side-by-side.

We were not able to verify the registration of this name, so list this plant in the "selling name" category.
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Bougainvillea is a woody, climbing vine that produces thorns and usually blooms in summer. It grows well in Zone 9 and Zone 10. Normally Bougainvillea are treated as a vine and given support, even if that support is a nearby bush. Two novel treatments are worth a try: grow in a container as a topiary specimen, or, grow as a ground cover. As a container plant it can be positioned on a patio. If trimmed aggressively during the growing season it will both maintain a compact shape and be covered with a riot of blossoms in whatever shade you have selected. As a ground cover it may die back in a frost; perhaps plant in a protected spot or grow in a semi-tropical zone.

Bougainvillea cultivars abound as do the assortment of flower colors. Select a plant when in bloom if you are looking for a specific shade, as cultivar names are numerous and might even be confusing, as some of the names have not been registered. Unregistered plants may produce unreliable blooms.

This is what we know:
Bougainvillea 'James Walker' is slightly pinker than Bougainvillea 'Barbara Karst', and Bougainvillea spectabilis is a bit bluer than either of those. (That said, Bougainvillea spectabilis may come in a variety of colors - reddish-magenta to a blueish-magenta.) Bougainvillea 'Monio' is redder than the others. Bougainvillea buttiana comes in several shades including yellow.

Container plants that attract adult butterflies - vine

This plant is one of 25 vines suitable to grow in a container that can attract adult butterflies. 3 of these plants attract birds and 9 attract specific butterfly species. They can be found in large, medium-large and tiny heights - from less than a foot long to over 10 feet tall. None of these plants are drought tolerant as most of them prefer moderate or regular watering. 7 are deciduous, while 19 are evergreen. Some can grow in Zones 3 and Zone 4, while the others grow in Zones 5-11. 23 vines that attract butterflies and can be grown in containers in Zone 9. None are known to be used as cut flowers. They are available in seven different flower colors.

We encourage you to use additional filters to refine your plant search for butterfly-friendly plants. Most vines grown in containers will need support that enables the vine to climb or twine around the support. Inserting a trellis in the container can work.

There are 221 vines in this database of which this short list of 25 vines can attract adult butterflies and be grown in a container. Most vines are prostrate, so we set their height to "0" while registering the plant's potential length in the width category. The length of many vines can be controlled by human activity.