Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pink Saturday - Butterfly flower

Pink Saturday - Beverly, at the blog "How Sweet the Sound" hosts Pink Saturday. Let the color pink inspire you.

My garden is in a somewhat tatty state, as summer has gone but the autumn rains haven't yet begun in earnest. But some plants are still going strong - perhaps even revitalized by the moist ocean air - LA's so called "marine layer" - that we wake up to most mornings.

This pretty, simple little flower is Gaura Lindheimeri "Siskyou Pink", and if you're not growing it in your garden, you should run right out now and get some.

A native of Texas and Louisiana, Gaura is a perennial with insignificant leaves, and an informal bushy habit. The flowers are just an inch or so in size, and with four petals and long curving stamens, they resemble tiny butterflies - an illusion further supported as they dance in the breeze on wiry, curving stems.

The species version has white flowers sometimes tipped in pink, and plantsmen have selected and bred cultivars for deeper pink shades, even reddish foliage. The closed buds and stems are more deeply colored,  and the whole effect in the garden is beautiful. "Siskyou Pink" was developed by Siskyou Rare Plant Nursery in Oregon, and there are other cultivars out there that are even more red.

You can grow Gaura in the back of your flower beds or in the middle to twine through other plants. Or you can put it in the front - as its wiry stems and tiny flowers work to enhance other flowers - like a lady's veiled hat enhances a beautiful face. They're perfect for an informal cottage garden, and make great cut flowers in a vase, too.

Gaura loves heat, is drought tolerant, and almost impossible to kill. You can grow it from seed, and it divides easily, too.

If you don't like its somewhat dull botanical name, you can call it by its common folk names of Butterfly Flower or Bee Blossom. But whatever you do - get some. It's perfect for your Pink Saturday bouquet!


LV said...

Nice to see you still have a few pretty pinks to enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Now this seems like a flower that even I could grow!

Cloudia said...

what a cool bloom!

Aloha from Waikiki;

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Gilly said...

Oh that is such a pretty plant! I do like plants that keep on flowering for a long time!

21 Wits said...

You always bring out the best in PINK!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I'd have to try it indoors, but it sounds hardy enough to hang with my cacti (which came from the Union Square Greenmarket back in the 1980s).

shrink on the couch said...

Haven't seen this before - wonder if it mostly grows in East Texas where it is more humid? Will have to look for it at the nursery. And ask my next question, do the deer like it?

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

hmmm if this is a plant I can't kill it might be a winner !
some day I will have a garden. Just too much to do to the outside of the house first.
thanks for sharing this wonderful pink...(())

Lala said...

Sounds like the perfect plant! Hardy yet pretty.