Gardening Magazine

Gaura Lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Gaura lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies' (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Late spring to early autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 100cm

Eventual Spread: 90cm

Hardiness: 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a

Family: Onagraceae

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ is a semi evergreen herbaceous perennial with a clump forming, spreading habit. Its mid green leaves are lanceolate with coarsely dentate margins, up to 9cm long and 13mm across. Its white flowers are up to 3cm across and appear on 80cm stalks above its leaves. Its roots emerge from rhizomes which aids its spread.

Gaura lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies' Flower (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ Flower (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

The species Gaura lindheimeri, commonly known as Lindheimer’s beeblossom, Lindheimer’s clockweed, Wand Flower and Indian feather, is native to Texas and Louisiana, USA. Gaura lindheimeri is synonymous with Oenothera lindheimeri.

The etymological root of the binomial name Gaura is derived from the Greek gauros meaning ‘superb’. Lindheimeri is named after Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer (1801-1879), Texas plant collector.

The landscape architect may find Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ useful as a long flowering perennial in a mixed perennial planting scheme or as an effective ground cover. Once established this perennial is drought tollerant.

Gaura lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies' Leaf (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ Leaf (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ flowers are attractive to polinating insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society have given the species Gaura lindheimeri their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ requires little maintenance. Clumps may be cut back by a half in spring to promote a dense habit.

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