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Flaigg, Norman G.
Gaura coccinea Nutt. ex Pursh
Scarlet beeblossom, Scarlet gaura
Onagraceae (Evening-Primrose Family)
Synonym(s): Gaura coccinea var. arizonica, Gaura coccinea var. epilobioides, Gaura coccinea var. glabra, Gaura coccinea var. parvifolia, Gaura coccinea var. typica, Gaura glabra, Gaura odorata
USDA Symbol: gaco5
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Scarlet beeblossom or scarlet gaura is a 1-2 ft., colongy-forming perennial with several stems, branched near base. The stems and narrowly oblong leaves may or may not be covered with gray hairs. Honeysuckle-like flowers occur on a spike-like inflorescence, 1-12 in. long, which blooms from the bottom to top. The leafy stems of this grayish plant are branched, grow in clumps, and bear at the tips reddish-pink, nodding racemes. Only one ring of the flowers are in bloom at a time. The fragrant flowers are white at first, fading to pink and finally scarlet, all in the same day. The whiteness of the newly opened flowers attracts night-flying moths, the primary pollinators of these plants. By early the next day the flowers are pink, the color intensifying throughout the morning. The flower remains open less than a day.
The genus Gaura is composed of rather weedy plants, with leaves borne singly on the stems and frequently in a basal rosette. The flowers are in spikes or racemes, or are branching. They open in the evening. The 4 petals are on the upper side of the flower, giving it a slightly bilateral symmetry. There are normally 8 prominent stamens and 1 pistil; these are on the lower side. The stamens have reddish-brown anthers. The genus is easily recognized, but the species are sometimes difficult, due partly to a great deal of hybridization.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Red
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
, WY Canada: SK Native Distribution:
Man. to IA
Loess Hills & TX,
w. to Alt., e. CA
& AZ Native Habitat:
Dry prairies; roadsides; disturbed sites
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Scarlet gaura is extremely easy and care-free. Due to extensive rhizomes, it will form large colonies. It is considered hardier and more manageable than Gaura linderheimeri.
Propagate vegetatively by by rhizome
cuttings in spring or by division of mature plants; tip cuttings in vermiculite and under intermittent mist root in 2-3 weeks. Seed Collection:
Not Available Seed Treatment:
Not Available Commercially Avail:
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0088
Collected Mar. 28, 1991 in Bexar County by Mollie Walton
Record Last Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff