Gypsophila paniculata

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Gypsophila paniculata
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Genus: Gypsophila
G. paniculata
Binomial name
Gypsophila paniculata

Gypsophila paniculata, the baby's breath, common gypsophila or panicled baby's-breath, is a species of flowering plant in the family Caryophyllaceae, native to central and eastern Europe. It is an herbaceous perennial growing to 1.2 m (4 ft) tall and wide, with mounds of branching stems covered in clouds of tiny white flowers in summer (hence the common name "baby's breath").[1] Another possible source of this name is its scent, which has been described as sour milk, like a baby's “spit-up”.[2][3][4] Its natural habitat is on the Steppes in dry, sandy and stony places, often on calcareous soils (gypsophila = "chalk-loving"). Specimens of this plant were first sent to Linnaeus from St. Petersburg by the Swiss-Russian botanist Johann Amman.


It is a popular ornamental garden subject, and thrives in well-drained alkaline to neutral soils in full sun. Numerous cultivars have been selected, of which 'Rosenschleier'[5] (with pale pink double flowers) has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[6]


Gypsophila paniculata is much used in the floristry trade (where it is often simply called "gyp") providing an effective backdrop for larger or more structured blooms. It is commercially cultivated in Peru, forming a major portion of that country's flower exports.[7] It is commonly grown and sold for corsages in the United States.[8]


Gypsophila paniculata is now widely distributed in North America.[9] It is classed as an invasive species in places around the Great Lakes, such as the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore[10] and the Chicago region,[11] in the Pacific Northwest,[12] and California where it is a declared noxious weed.[8]

Pests and diseases[edit]

Root development is completely inhibited by Pantoea agglomerans pv. glysophilae. Both Pag and Pantoea agglomerans pv. betae cause gall formation. Pag is a problem for the floral industry, for example in the Israeli industry.[13][14]



  1. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
  2. ^ sghamper (2019-08-24). "Does Baby's Breath Flowers Smell?". #1 That Flower Shop Online. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  3. ^ "Why is it called baby's breath flowers?". Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  4. ^ "Why is the gypsophila plant called "Baby's Breath"?".
  5. ^ "Gypsophila 'Rosenschleier'". RHS. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  6. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 43. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  7. ^ "La floricultura en el Perú: La más alta calidad en Gypsphila" (PDF).
  8. ^ a b The growing problem of invasive species : joint oversight hearing before the Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans joint with the Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation, and Public Lands of the Committee on Resources, U.S. House of Representatives, One Hundred Eighth Congress, first session, Tuesday, April 29, 2003. Washington: U.S. G.P.O. 2003. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-16-070777-3. OCLC 53336784.
  9. ^ PLANTS Profile - Gypsophila paniculata L. - baby's breath, PLANTS Database, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  10. ^ Does removal of Baby’s Breath from Lake Michigan sand dunes restore native plant diversity and ecosystem function? Archived 2008-12-02 at the Wayback Machine, The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  11. ^ Invasive Plants in the Chicago Region Archived 2022-01-20 at the Wayback Machine, Chicago Botanic Garden.
  12. ^ Pacific Northwest Noxious Weed List, Pacific Northwest Invasive Plant Council. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  13. ^ Barash, Isaac (2014-08-04). "How Way Leads on to Way". Annual Review of Phytopathology. 52 (1). Annual Reviews: 1–17. doi:10.1146/annurev-phyto-102313-045953. ISSN 0066-4286. PMID 25090476.
  14. ^ Barash, Isaac; Manulis-Sasson, Shulamit (2009). "Recent Evolution of Bacterial Pathogens: The Gall-Forming Pantoea agglomerans Case". Annual Review of Phytopathology. 47 (1). Annual Reviews: 133–152. doi:10.1146/annurev-phyto-080508-081803. ISSN 0066-4286. PMID 19400643.

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