Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Gaura lindheimeri

Common Name
Wand Flower/ Butterfly Gaura
CA Native
Non-native
Plant Type
Perennial
Size
3' - 4' x 2'
Flower Color
White, Pink
Bloom Time
  • Fall
  • Spring
  • Spring through Fall
Leaves
Herbacious,Smooth-textured,Green to Red Leaves
Evergreen
Deciduous
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Attracts Beneficial Insects
  • Bees
Growth Rate
Fast
Hardiness
Hardy
Adverse Growth Factors
None
Special Features
  • Low Maintenance
  • Showy Flowers
Water Use
  • Low
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
Exposure
  • Full Sun
Soil Type
Not Particular
Drainage
Well Drained
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

This clump forming perennial has small white to pinkish  flowers on long thin stems that blow with the wind. Blooms open a few at a time to ensure a long bloom period. The deep maroon buds are attractive even when no blooms are open. This plant loves heat, the more heat and sun the more it blooms. Plant in a mass with  'Black & Blue' salvia, pink coneflowers & Gentian sage for a colorful mid-border.

Best grown in sandy, loamy, well drained soils in full sun. Good drainage is essential. Remove spent flower spikes to prolong bloom period. The thin flower stems can become leggy and flop, particulary when grown in rich soils with too much water. Root rot may occur in heavy, poorly drained soils. Trim back in midsummer (when blooms start to lag) to keep plants compact and to encourage more blooms.

Bees seem to like this plant.

No serious insect or disease problems.

 

 

Master Gardener Comments

I use this plant in mass in a hot sunny part of my garden. Looks great with the dark purple or blue salvias.

Varietals

G.lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies' - white flower

G. lindheimeri 'Siskiyou Pink' - pink flower

G. lindheimeri 'Crimsom Butterflies' - pinkish-red flowers, dwarf (less than 2 ' tall)

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