Gaura, also known as Beeblossom, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Onagraceae, native to North and South America. Gaura plants are known for their delicate, airy appearance, long-lasting blooms, and ability to attract pollinators.
Most species of Gaura range in height from 2 to 5 feet, with a spread of up to 3 feet. Their stems are thin and wiry and can be either upright or arching. Gaura plants have a mounding growth habit and produce multiple stems from a single root system. The shape of the plant is typically rounded or vase-like, with a somewhat open structure.
Their leaves are typically long and narrow and are arranged alternately along the stem. They are generally green, lance-shaped, and can vary in texture from smooth to slightly hairy. These plants are best known for their showy flowers, which bloom from late spring to early fall. The flowers are borne on long, thin stalks that rise above the foliage in loose clusters. The individual flowers are small, four-petaled, and can be white or pink.
Gaura is also used for attracting bees and butterflies. The long, tubular flowers of Gaura are well-suited to the feeding habits of these insects, and their open structure makes them easy to access. Planting Gaura in a garden or landscape can help to support local pollinator populations and promote biodiversity.
Gaura is generally easy to grow and can thrive in various conditions. They prefer full sun and well-drained soil but can tolerate some shade and a range of soil types. They are also drought-tolerant and can go for extended periods without water. Regular deadheading, which promotes continued blooming throughout the growing season, is encouraged. Gaura can also benefit from occasional fertilization with a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer.
There are approximately 20 species of Gaura, with the most common being Gaura lindheimeri. This species is native to Texas and Louisiana but has since been introduced to other parts of the United States and Europe. Gaura lindheimeri is a herbaceous perennial that typically grows to a height of 2-4 feet, with a spread of up to 3 feet.
Another popular species of Gaura is Gaura biennis, also known as biennial gaura or white gaura. This species is native to eastern and central North America and has tall, slender stems that can reach up to 6 feet in height. Gaura biennis is a great choice for adding height and drama to a garden, and is also a popular choice for wildflower meadows and naturalized areas.