Bougainvillea is an ornamental plant native to South America but grows well in most areas with warm climates. The Mediterranean climate particularly lends itself to growing Bougainvillea and it grows abundantly with a dazzling array of colours. There are apparently over 300 varieties of bougainvillea around the world. The following link from the Wikipedia website provides extensive detail about the history of the origins of this plant as well as other relevant information. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bougainvillea
A word of caution however, the sap of the bougainvillea is said to cause skin rashes which are similar to poison oak/ivy. Therefore, when pruning this plant, it is advisable to exercise caution and try and avoid the skin from coming into contact with the sap.
Bougainvillea is a very popular plant in Tunisia. Here are some photographs which I have taken whilst walking around Tunis and I will add to these photographs as I come across different coloured varieties.
This is a variegated bougainvillea, Fuchsia-red with green and white variegated foliage.
Another image of the variegated bougainvillea.
Ornamental plants are defined as plants which serve an aesthetic purpose and are grown for display purposes as opposed to plants which are grown for a functional purpose. Whilst some plants can be both ornamental and functional the term ornamental specifically refers to plants which have no value beyond looking attractive. Common features of ornamental plants include flowers, leaves, scent, fruit, stem and bark.