This North American native genus took a long time to find its way into America’s gardens. Once it arrived, it quickly became a staple.
Gaura produces prolific quantities of delicate blooms, in white, pink or bicolor. Borne on slender wandlike stems, they’re in constant motion in the slightest breeze. The small, lanceolate leaves may be rich green, variegated or red.
l. Belleza™ Dark Pink Well-branched, with short flower stems loaded with dark pink blooms.
Height 12 – 18”
l. ‘Crimson Butterflies’ Hot pink blooms on red stems over dark crimson leaves.
Height 18 – 24”
l. ‘Graceful Magic’ A compact variety with deep pink flowers and variegated foliage.
Height 6 – 10”
l. Rosy Jane PP22290 Bodacious bicolor! White flowers with pink picotee edges.
Height 24 – 30”
l. ‘Siskiyou Pink’ The first commercial non-white variety. Brilliant rosy-pink petals and white stamens.
Height 18 – 30”
l. ‘Sparkle White’ Dainty white flowers with a faint pink blush.
Height 18 – 24”
l. ‘Whirling Butterflies’ Bright white flowers dance on slim red stems, floating like butterflies over willow-like foliage. Height 2 – 3’.
Healthy growth and successful overwintering demand good drainage. Once established, Gaura tolerates high and low temperatures, but not wet feet. Too-rich soil leads to leggy, floppy growth. Gardeners, NB: It’s tap-rooted, so transplant with care.
Breeders have tamed this natural rambler, shortening internodes and increasing branching. Compact forms like ‘Graceful Magic’ and Belleza™ Dark Pink make beautifully-behaved pots, striking on the retail shelf. But taller selections like ‘Whirling Butterflies’ and ‘Siskiyou Pink’ have fabulous garden merit, threading their graceful way into adjacent shrubs and perennials.
The Game of the Name
Gaura is from Greek gauros, variously translated as “noble,” “proud” or "superb," describing the beautiful, plentiful flowers. The specific epithet honors transplanted Texan Ferdinand Lindheimer, 19th century plantsman and political refugee from Germany. Twenty species and one genus of plants are named for him -- plus a snake.
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