14 Jan Butterfly flower
Gaura lindheirmeri Gaura parviflora
A very popular cottage perennial. At the time of printing this booklet it is an offence to sell, propagate or knowingly distribute the plant without a permit.
Origin: USA and Mexico border region
Habit: Sprawling perennial herb, 0.6-1.2m high with a 0.6-0.9m spread.
Leaves: The leaves are simple, narrow, irregular and spoon shaped, 2.5-7.6 cm long, with toothed margins. Often blotched red.
Flowers: Small, butterfly-like blooms adorn long willowy stems. Blooms are white when they open at dawn, fading to rose-pink by the end of the day and are produced for a very long period. Other varieties produce flowers of pinks and crimson. Spring-Autumn.
Fruit: Small 4 sided elongated capsule persisting after the flowers containing numerous tiny seeds.
Roots: Fibrous root system tolerant of a wide range of soil types from sand to clay.
Dispersal: Seed and vegetation spread by water, humans, contaminated soil (earthmoving/slashing equipment, car tyres etc) and garden refuse dumping.
Control: Hand pull/dig, Foliar spray.
A recent addition to the noxious weeds list in NSW. The ban on Gaura has been challenged by members of the nursery industry who are working on the development of safer sterile hybrids. Regardless of the decision these plants need to be actively managed.