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Gaura lindheimeri4.jpg
Gaura lindheimeri
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Onagraceae
Subfamily: Onagroideae
Tribe: Onagreae
Genus: Gaura

See text

  • Stenosiphon Spach

Gaura is a genus of flowering plants in the family Onagraceae, native to North America. The genus includes many species known commonly as beeblossoms. Recent genetic research has shown that the genus is paraphyletic unless the monotypic genus Stenosiphon is included within Gaura, increasing the number of species in the genus to 22.[1][2][3]

They are annual, biennial or perennial herbaceous plants; most are perennials with sturdy rhizomes, often forming dense thickets, crowding or shading out other plant species. They have a basal rosette of leaves, with erect or spreading flowering stems up to 2 m (rarely more) tall, leafy on the lower stem, branched and leafless on the upper stem. The flowers have four (rarely three) petals; they are zygomorphic, with all the petals directed somewhat upwards. The fruit is an indehiscent nut-like body containing reddish-brown seeds. It reproduces via seeds and also by rhizome growth.[1]


Several species of Gaura are regarded as noxious weeds, especially in disturbed or overgrazed areas where it easily takes hold. They can become a nuisance in situations involving disturbed habitat, such as trampled rangeland and clearings. Efforts to control Gaura focus mainly on prevention of misuse of land. There is no biological control method for plants of genus Gaura, and removing existing infestations is difficult, due in large part to the plants' ability to reproduce from bits of rhizome left in the ground.[4]

Despite the poor reputation of plants of this genus, some species are cultivated as garden plants, such as G. lindheimeri (White Gaura).


In 2007, Warren L. Wagner, Peter C. Hoch, and Peter H. Raven published a Revised Classification of the Onagraceae,[5] which moved the bulk of the Gaura taxa into genus Oenothera sect. Gaura (L.) W.L.Wagner &Hoch and made Gaura a synonym of Oenothera.[6] The following table shows where the Gaura taxa have been placed.[7][8]

Synonym Accepted Name Common Name[9]
Gaura L. 1753 Oenothera L. 1753 beeblossom
Oenothera sect. Gaura subsect. Gauridium
Gaura mutabilis Cav. 1795 O. anomala Curtis 1797 anomalous Oenothera
Oenothera sect. Gaura subsect. Stenosiphon
Stenosiphon virgatus Spach 1835 O. glaucifolia W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007 false gaura
Stenosiphon linifolius (Nutt. ex E.James) Heynh. 1840
Oenothera sect. Gaura subsect. Schizocarya
Gaura mollis Kunth 1823 O. curtiflora W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007 velvetweed,
smallflowered gaura,
velvety gaura,
willow gaura
Gaura parviflora Douglas ex Lehm. 1830
G. parviflora var. lachnocarpa Weath. 1925
G. parviflora var. parviflora
Oenothera sect. Gaura subsect. Xerogaura
Gaura macrocarpa Rothr. 1866 O. arida W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007 Trans-Pecos beeblossom
Oenothera sect. Gaura subsect. Campogaura
Gaura boquillensis P.H.Raven & D.P.Greg. 1972 O. boquillensis (P.H.Raven & D.P.Greg.)
  W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
Rio Grande beeblossom
Gaura coccinea Pursh 1814 O. suffrutescens (Ser.)
  W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
scarlet beeblossom,
scarlet gaura
G. coccinea var. arizonica Munz 1938
G. coccinea var. epilobioides (Kunth) Munz 1938
G. coccinea var. glabra (Lehm.) Munz 1938
G. coccinea var. parvifolia (Torr.) Rickett 1934
G. coccinea var. coccinea
Gaura glabra Lehm. 1830
Gaura odorata Sessé ex Lag. 1816
Oenothera sect. Gaura subsect. Stipogaura
Gaura calcicola P.H. Raven & D.P.Greg. 1972 O. calcicola (P.H.Raven & D.P.Greg.)
  W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
Texas beeblossom
Gaura villosa Torr. O. cinerea (Wooton & Standl.)
  W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
woolly beeblossom,
woolly gaura
G. villosa ssp. villosa Torr. 1827 O. cinerea ssp. cinerea
  (Wooton & Standl.)
   W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
woolly beeblossom
G. villosa var. villosa
G. villosa var. arenicola Munz 1938
G. villosa ssp. parksii (Munz) P.H.Raven & D.P.Greg. 1972 O. cinerea ssp. parksii (Munz)
  W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
hairy gaura,
Parks' beeblossom
G. villosa var. parksii Munz 1938
G. villosa var. mckelveyae Munz 1938 O. mckelveyae (Munz)
  W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
Mckelvey's beeblossom
Gaura mckelveyae (Munz) P.H.Raven & D.P.Greg. 1972
Gaura filipes Spach 1835 O. filipes (Spach)
  W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
slenderstalk beeblossom
G. filipes var. major Torr. & A. Gray 1840
Gaura michauxii Spach 1835
Gaura sinuata Nutt. ex Ser. 1828 O. sinuosa W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007 wavyleaf beeblossom,
wavyleaf gaura
Oenothera sect. Gaura subsect. Xenogaura
Gaura drummondii (Spach) Torr. & A. Gray 1840 O. xenogaura W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007 Drummond's beeblossom,
scented gaura
Oenothera sect. Gaura subsect. Gaura
Gaura neomexicana Wooton 1898 O. coloradensis ssp. neomexicana
  (Wooton) W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
New Mexico beeblossom
G. neomexicana ssp. neomexicana
G. neomexicana var. neomexicana
G. neomexicana ssp. coloradensis
  (Rydb.) P.H.Raven & D.P.Greg. 1972
O. coloradensis ssp. coloradensis
  (Rydb.) W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
Colorado beeblossom,
Colorado butterfly plant
G. neomexicana var. coloradensis (Rydb.) Munz 1938
Gaura demareei P.H.Raven & D.P.Greg. 1972 O. demareei (P.H.Raven & D.P.Greg.)
  W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
Demaree's beeblossom
Gaura biennis L. 1743 O. gaura W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007 biennial beeblossom
G. biennis var. pitcheri Torr. & A. Gray 1840 O. filiformis (Small)
  W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
longflower beeblossom
Gaura pitcheri (Torr. & A.Gray) Small 1903
Gaura filiformis Small 1898
Gaura longiflora Spach 1835
Gaura tripetala Cav. 1797 O. hexandra ssp. hexandra
  (Ortega) W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
harlequin bush,
slender gaura
Gaura hexandra Ortega 1797
G. hexandra var. hexandra
G. hexandra ssp. hexandra
G. hexandra ssp. gracilis
  (Wooton & Standl.) P.H.Raven & D.P.Greg. 1972
O. hexandra ssp. gracilis
  (Wooton & Standl.)
   W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
harlequin bush
Gaura gracilis Wooton & Standl. 1913
G. hexandra var. coryi (Munz) Munz 1965 O. patriciae
  W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
plains beeblossom
G. tripetala var. coryi Munz 1938
Gaura brachycarpa Small 1903
G. hexandra var. triangulata (Buckley) Munz 1965 O. triangulata (Buckley)
  W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
prairie beeblossom,
three-petal gaura
Gaura triangulata Buckley 1862
G. tripetala var. triangulata (Buckley) Munz 1938
Gaura angustifolia Michx. 1803 O. simulans (Small)
  W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
southern beeblossom
Gaura eatonii Small 1913
Gaura simulans Small 1905
Gaura suffulta Engelm. ex A. Gray 1850 O. suffulta (Engelm.)
  W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
roadside gaura
G. suffulta ssp. suffulta
G. suffulta ssp. nealleyi
  (J.M. Coult.) P.H.Raven & D.P.Greg. 1972
O. suffulta ssp. nealleyi
  (J.M. Coult.) W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
Nealley's kisses
Gaura nealleyi J.M. Coult. 1890
Gaura lindheimeri Engelm. & A.Gray 1845 O. lindheimeri (Engelm. & A.Gray)
  W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
Lindheimer's beeblossom,
white gaura
Clarkia sect. Phaeostoma subsect. Heterogaura
Gaura heterandra Torr. 1857 C. heterandra (Torr.)
  F.H.Lewis & P.H.Raven 1992
mountain clarkia
Gaura decorticans Hook. & Arn. 1841 E. boothii ssp. decorticans
  (Hook. & Arn.)
   W.L.Wagner & Hoch 2007
Shredding suncup


  1. ^ a b Raven P. H., & Gregory, D. P. (1972). A revision of the genus Gaura (Onagraceae). Mem. Torrey Bot. Club 23: 1-96.
  2. ^ Carr, B. L., Crisci, J. V., & Hoch, P. C. (1990). A cladistic analysis of the genus Gaura (Onagraceae). Systematic Botany 15 (3): 454-461.
  3. ^ Hoggard, G. D., Kores, P. J., Molvray, M., & Hoggard, R. K. (2004). The phylogeny of Gaura (Onagraceae) based on ITS, ETS, and trnL-F sequence data. Amer. J. Bot. 91: 139-148 full text.
  4. ^ EncycloWeedia: Genus Gaura
  5. ^ Onagraceae Wagner,W.L et al. Revised Classification of the Onagraceae (2007)
  6. ^ Gaura Missouri Botanical Garden. 13 Dec 2011
  7. ^ Oenothera Wagner, W. L. and P. C. Hoch. 2005-. Onagraceae, The Evening Primrose Family. 2011-12-07
  8. ^ Oenothera Archived 2010-09-14 at the Wayback Machine USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) 2011-12-13
  9. ^ Common Names The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) 2011-12-13