Oenothera lindheimeri (Engelm. & A. Gray) W.L. Wagner & Hoch
White Gaura, Butterfly Gaura, Lindheimer's Beeblossom, Lindheimer's Gaura
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)
Synonym(s): Gaura lindheimeri
USDA Symbol: OELI2
An upright to widely spreading, soft-hairy, 2-5 ft. perennial with delicate white flowers in elongated terminal and axillary clusters. The flowers are four-petaled, in one row on the upward side, and turn pink with age. Stamens are conspicuously long. Stems are solitary to several and much-branched in the upper portion. A large and showy gaura often forming extensive colonies. Flowers open in early morning. Flower "fragrance" has sometimes been compared to cat urine.
Species such as this one, formerly placed in the genus Gaura, are typically 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.
The species is named after Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer (1801-1879) who is often called the Father of Texas Botany because of his work as the first permanent-resident plant collector in Texas. In 1834 Lindheimer immigrated to the United States as a political refugee. He spent from 1843-1852 collecting specimens in Texas. In 1844 he settled in New Braunfels, Texas, and was granted land on the banks of the Comal River, where he continued his plant collecting and attempted to establish a botanical garden. He shared his findings with many others who shared his interest in botany, including Ferdinand von Roemer and Adolph Scheele. Lindheimer is credited with the discovery of several hundred plant species. In addition his name is used to designate forty-eight species and subspecies of plants. He is buried in New Braunfels. His house, on Comal Street in New Braunfels, is now a museum.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: LA , TX
Native Distribution: LA to TX & Mex.
Native Habitat: Prairies; pinelands; pond edges
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Variable. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam Clay Loam, Clay, Acid-based, Calcareous.
Conditions Comments: Open vase-shaped plant, branches arching in many directions. Leaf color is dark green in summer, and red, gold or purple in the fall. The flower, white fading pink, has only a few flowers open at a time with new ones opening as stalks grow throughout most. Flowers open in early morning. Tolerant of high heat. Flower "fragrance" has sometimes been compared to cat urine. Can be invasive.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Aromatic and showy with ornamental blooms. Looks good in the back of a perennial border or bed.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate
PropagationPropagation Material: Clump Division , Seeds
Description: Easy to grow from seed and will self sow. Clumps can be divided in spring to start new plants.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: If cut back midsummer, gaura will regrow and bloom again in fall.
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From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
United States Botanic Garden - Washington, DC
NPSOT - Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX
BibliographyBibref 765 - McMillen's Texas Gardening: Wildflowers (1998) Howard, D.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Oenothera lindheimeri in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Oenothera lindheimeri in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Oenothera lindheimeri
MetadataRecord Modified: 2017-06-27
Research By: TWC Staff