Updated: May 23, 2022

Gaura, also known as bee blossom, wand flower, or butterfly bush, is a popular ornamental plant that belongs to the family Onagraceae. This herbaceous perennial plant is native to North America and Mexico, and it is widely cultivated for its attractive flowers and foliage. In this article, we will explore the origin of the gaura plant, its history, and some interesting facts about this beautiful plant.

History of the Gaura Plant

The name “gaura” comes from the Greek word “gauros,” which means superb or elegant. The gaura plant was first discovered by the German botanist, Karl Ludwig Willdenow, in 1800. He named it Oenothera lindheimeri after Ferdinand Lindheimer, a German-American botanist who was one of the first to collect specimens of the plant in Texas. Later on, it was reclassified as Gaura lindheimeri by George Bentham, an English botanist.

The gaura plant has a long history of use by indigenous people for its medicinal properties. The roots were used to treat various ailments such as digestive disorders, menstrual problems, and skin irritations. The leaves were also used to make tea that was believed to have soothing effects on the body.

Characteristics of Gaura Plant

Gaura plant is a herbaceous perennial that can grow up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It has slender stems with lance-shaped leaves that are green or reddish-green in color. The flowers are borne on long spikes that rise above the foliage and are usually pink or white in color. The blooms appear in late spring or early summer and last until fall.

Gaura plants are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. They prefer full sun but can also grow in partial shade. They are drought-tolerant and can survive in dry conditions. They are also resistant to pests and diseases, making them an easy plant to grow in the garden.

Cultivation of Gaura Plant

Gaura plants are easy to grow from seed or cuttings. They can be propagated in the spring or fall by dividing mature plants or taking cuttings from new growth. The plants should be planted in well-drained soil and watered regularly until established.

Gaura plants can be grown as perennials in USDA zones 5-9, and they can also be grown as annuals in colder regions. They require minimal care and maintenance, and they will reward you with beautiful blooms throughout the growing season.

Interesting Facts about Gaura Plant

  • Gaura plants are pollinated by bees, butterflies, and moths, which is why they are also called bee blossom or butterfly bush.
  • Gaura plants are often used in landscaping as a border plant or a ground cover.
  • The leaves of the gaura plant are edible and can be added to salads or used as a garnish.
  • Gaura plants are sometimes called “whirling butterflies” because the flowers sway gently in the wind, resembling fluttering butterfly wings.


Is the gaura plant invasive?

No, the gaura plant is not considered invasive. It is a native plant that is well-behaved in the garden.

Can gaura plants survive in hot climates?

Yes, gaura plants are drought-tolerant and can survive in hot climates. They prefer full sun but can also grow in partial shade.

How often should I water my gaura plant?

Gaura plants require regular watering until established. After that, they are drought-tolerant and require minimal watering.

How do I propagate my gaura plant?

Gaura plants can be propagated by division, cuttings, or seed. Dividing mature plants in the spring or fall is the easiest method, but cuttings and seed can also be used.

Are gaura plants toxic to pets?

No, gaura plants are not toxic to pets. They are safe to grow around dogs and cats.

In conclusion, the gaura plant is a beautiful and easy-to-grow perennial that is native to North America and Mexico. Its attractive flowers and foliage make it a popular choice for gardeners and landscapers alike. With its hardiness and minimal care requirements, it’s no wonder that the gaura plant has become a favorite among garden enthusiasts.