Scarlett Beeblossom
Gaura coccina Nutt.

A perennial shrub grows from 2 to 5 feet with woody stems at the base, typically covered with short, stiff, flattened and long spreading hairs. The taproot thick, deeply penetrates soil, often develops stems several centimeters below ground. Underground stems often become rhizomatous and develop new plants. The leaves are alternate, variable, sessile, decreasing in size from the base upwards. Blooms from April through June. Has 1/2 inch four petaled flowers, rose to purplish, in l that appear in long, widely branching clusters on the tips of long upright stems. Newly opened flowers are light colored, opening in the evening. The seedlings are covered with a few minute soft hairs on the upper surfaces. Subsequent leaves elliptic, variably covered with soft hairs and tiny embedded glands. Margins smooth to wavy, often folded or loosely rolled lenght wise. By morning the flowers are pink, deepening to reddish as the day progresses. Considered by many to be a noxious and invasive weed. It blooms from early spring to frost, but flowers are most abundant in late spring. It is easily propagated. Seeds germinate easily in moist media and reach full size in less than a year.  Fruits 4-9 mm long, typically lack narrow wings, widen gradually. Stalk-like base the diameter or more of the widest part of fruit. Seeds 1-4, sometimes light brown. Found in dry grasslands, dry slopes and juniper woodlands in native range, but also in cultivated fields. It is adaptable to almost any soil and is tolerant of high humidity. It is resistant to drought. 


James Reveal