White Gaura

Gaura lindheimeri

Overstory

This is a Texas wildflower that I added to the front yard in 2019. It’s planted beside a group of yucca, and they pair well. I had tried a number of things next to the yuccas, which were growing before I moved in, but nothing before was the right texture or height until this.

It didn’t take long for the gaura to reach nearly five feet high, and do what it does best — sway in the wind. The crisp white flowers appear scattered in the air, and have a nice random feel to them. At some angles they look unattached, which further adds to the appeal.

There’s a popular cultivar called ‘Whirling Butterflies’, and that’s what I thought I purchased. But it’s supposed to be somewhat compact and my plant is anything but — splaying wide and topping four feet. I’ve had this problem with coreopsis, so maybe it’s a symptom of the soil or sun. Nonetheless, it seems rather happy in the sunniest spot, hovering above a rocky, pollinator-friendly corner of the yard.

Location

In the Southwest corner, where you enter the property, the flowers float above yucca, lavender, and thyme.

Details

Origin

North America; Texas. • I purchased it as a one-gallon pot from a nursery in 2019.

Size

The long, thin stems grow rapidly to almost 5′. Too high perhaps, as wet weather or it’s own mass can bring half the plant to the ground. • I’ll have to experiment more with pinch-pruning to keep the height in check. That said, when they’re upright and swaying in the breeze, the height has a desirable effect.

Benefits

By looks alone, hardly anything in the yard rivals these flowers. But more importantly, they get visitors — I’ve seen more wasps than bees.

Family

Onagraceae

Relatives

None listed (yet)

Page updated on February 17, 2021.