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Biennial Gaura


Common Name Biennial Gaura

Latin Name: Gaura biennis

[Pronounced: "GARR-ah bye-ENN-is"]

Type of Plant: Forb

Identification Helps: A tall but thin, often overlooked plant that blooms in July and August. The flower buds open with a red-pink color, followed by the pure white mature flowers (as shown).

Similar Species: None on the prairie.

Preferred Growing Conditions in the Wild: Grows in most prairie soils, except xeric (dry) sands or heavy wet (hydric) clay soils.

Seasons of Growth and Bloom: Blooms from late July through August, occasionally into September.

Natural Distribution in Ohio: Found throughout Ohio on prairies, occasionally on non-prairie sites.

Description and General Information: Biennial Gaura lives only two years, hence the specific name biennis. It tends to grow where the prairie has been disturbed, often by the digging of an animal (a vole, ground squirrel, etc.). The species grows easily in prairie creations and restorations.

Its flowers are large and beautiful, as shown.

The plant is one of the few prairie species that has no separate common name.