Here are a few more plants from my latest foray to Portugal, some of which I may have posted before, so apologies if that's the case. The first is a very common sight in many hot countries, and is the familiar Bougainvillea. This rather thorny, scrambling shrub is renowned for its colourful 'flowers', a misnomer as they are are in reality bracts (modified leaves) that surround the rather insignificant cluster of three, white waxy proper flowers. As these colourful bracts are quite thin and papery, this gives rise to the plant's other common name of 'Paper Bush'. They are available in quite a few different shades, quite a lot of which I have managed to capture, and although it can be grown in the UK, it is not hardy here and needs to be grown in a large container that can be moved indoors during winter.
In this picture, the three true flowers at the centre of the cluster of coloured bracts are shown.
This Upright Prickly Pear, Opuntia stricta with its red fruits and vicious spines can be found growing along roadsides and on waste ground...
Plumbago (aka 'Leadwort' or Sky Flower), Plumbago auriculata.
Port Saint John Creeper, Podranea ricosoliana, another vigorous creeper.
Kangaroo Apple, Solanum laciniatum, as its Latin name suggests, is a member of the nightshade and potato family.
Butterfly Bush, Polygala myrtifolia, this plant seemed to attract a lot of butterflies, including the Pea Blue which I showed in the bug thread. Not to be confused with our UK Butterfly bush, Buddleja.
Cape Honeysuckle, Tecomaria capensis.
Cotton Rose, Hibiscus mutabilis.
And finally, Hairy Balls (aka Balloon Cotton Bush, as the inflated pods are filled with a mass of cotton like seeds), Gomphocarpus physocarpus. An annual, not hardy in the UK, I did once manage to germinate some seed that I bought back, but the plants never reached maturity and the frosts killed them off before they could flower.