Click on the language to view common names.
Common Names in English:
Babys Breath, Annual Baby´s-Breath, Annual Baby's Breath, Annual Baby's-Breath, Babys Breath Covent Garden, Showy Baby´s-Breath, Showy Baby's-Breath, Showy Babysbreath
Common Names in French:
, rarely subshrubs
. Stems and branches usually swollen at nodes. Leaves opposite, decussate, rarely alternate or verticillate
, entire, usually connate
; stipules scarious
, or often absent. Inflorescence of cymes or cymose
panicles, rarely flowers solitary or few in racemes
, capitula, pseudoverticillasters, or umbels. Flowers actinomorphic
, rarely unisexual
, occasionally cleistogamous
. Sepals (4 or) 5, free
, imbricate, or connate into a tube
, leaflike or scarious, persistent
, sometimes bracteate
below calyx. Petals (4 or) 5, rarely absent, free, often comprising claw
and limb; limb entire or split, usually with coronal scales
at juncture of claw and limb. Stamens (2--) 5--10, in 1 or 2 series. Pistil 1; carpels 2--5, united
into a compound
ovary. Ovary superior, 1-loculed or basally imperfectly 2--5-loculed. Gynophore
present or absent. Placentation free, central, rarely basal; ovules (1 or) few or numerous
, campylotropous. Styles (1 or) 2--5, sometimes united at base. Fruit usually a capsule, with pericarp crustaceous
, scarious, or papery
, dehiscing by teeth or valves
1 or 2 Ã— as many as styles, rarely berrylike with irregular dehiscence or an achene. Seeds 1 to numerous, reniform
, or rarely dorsiventrally compressed
, abaxially grooved
, or sharply pointed
, rarely fimbriate-pectinate; testa granular
, rarely smooth
; embryo strongly curved
and surrounding perisperm
or straight but eccentric
; perisperm mealy.
Between 75 and 80 genera and ca. 2000 species: widespread but mainly of temperate or warm-temperate occurrence in the N hemisphere, with principal centers of distribution in the Mediterranean region and W Asia to W China and the Himalayas, fewer species in Africa S of the Sahara, America, and Oceania; 30 genera (two endemic) and 390 species (193 endemic) in China.
Arenaria, Silene, and Stellaria contain over half the species in the family in China. They are mostly concentrated in the Qinghai-Xizang plateau , and are especially rich from the Hengduan Mountains to the Himalayas. The main uses of this family are medicinal and ornamental . Dianthus superbus, Pseudostellaria heterophylla, Stellaria dichotoma var. lanceolata, and Vaccaria hispanica are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine . Some species of Arenaria, Dianthus, Gypsophila, Psammosilene, and Silene are used as medicinal herbs among the people or are habitually used in local Chinese medicine. Many species of Dianthus, Gypsophila, Lychnis, Saponaria, and Silene are grown as ornamentals. Atocion armeria (Linnaeus) Rafinesque ( Silene armeria Linnaeus), native to Russia and Europe, is also cultivated in China. It differs from Silene in having a corymbose inflorescence and obscure calyx veins. Wu Cheng-yih, Ke Ping, Zhou Li-hua, Tang Chang-lin & Lu De-quan. 1996. Caryophyllaceae. In: Tang Chang-lin, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 26: 47â€“449.
. Taproots slender to stout, sometimes absent; perennials often with stout, branched caudices, some with adventitious roots
stems or elongating rhizomes. Stems erect
, ± sprawling
, or less often decumbent or prostrate
, usually branched, terete
. Leaves briefly connate
proximally, sessile; blade
1- or 3-5-veined, linear
, apex rounded
to acuminate. Inflorescences dichasial cymes or thyrses
in G. oldhamiana) ; bracts paired
, distal ones smaller, herbaceous with scarious
bracteoles absent. Pedicels erect in fruit. Flowers: sepals connate proximally into cup
, 1-5 mm, cup green and white, 5-veined, not winged
, obconic to campanulate
, terete to 5-angled, commissures
between sepals veinless, broad, scarious; lobes
green at least along midrib
, usually ovate to elliptic
, equaling or longer
than cup, margins white, scarious, apex rounded to obtuse, sometimes mucronate
; petals 5, white, pink, or rose-purple, claw
poorly differentiated, auricles
absent, coronal appendages
absent; blade apex entire or shallowly emarginate
to 2-fid, nectaries at filament
; stamens 10, arising with petals from low nectariferous
disc; filaments distinct
nearly to base; staminodes absent; ovary 1-locular; styles 2(-3), clavate
, 1.2-2.5 mm, glabrous
proximally; stigmas 2(-3), subterminal
(30Ã—). Capsules globose
or ellipsoid-ovoid, opening by 4(-6) slightly distally recurving valves
; carpophore absent. Seeds 4-36, brown to black, reniform
to snail-shell-shaped, laterally compressed
absent, appendages absent; embryo peripheral, curved
. x = 17, 12 (Eurasia
), 18 (Eurasia) ; aneuploidy occasional.
Species ca. 150: introduced ; temperate Eurasia, Africa, Pacific Islands, Australia; introduced in South America.
Gypsophila species are widely grown as ornamentals . In addition to those treated below, other European and Asiatic species have appeared sporadically in disturbed habitats in the flora area, sometimes remote from any site where likely to have been planted, but have not become established . Gypsophila pilosa Hudson [G. porrigens (Linnaeus) Boissier], which differs from G. elegans in its stems villous or hispid proximal to the inflorescence, slender pedicels that persist after the flowers and fruits have fallen, and consistently pink petals, has been found at waste-disposal sites in Maryland, New York, and Oregon. Gypsophila repens Linnaeus, a rhizomatous perennial species with prostrate to decumbent primary stems and more or less erect flowering branches to 3 dm, similar to G. elegans in floral characters, has been found escaped from cultivation in British Columbia and Maine. Gypsophila oldhamiana F. A. W. Miquel was found in a field in Alabama in 1969 [Rebois 049 (AUA) ]. It has pink petals and differs from other species described here in its densely corymboid to subcapitate inflorescences. Additional species are cultivated in the flora area.
Species Gypsophila elegans
. Stems erect
to inflorescence, 0.4-6 dm, glabrous
. Leaves cauline,
proximal leaves with clasping
, gradually transitional to distal
leaves with ± rounded
linear-lanceolate to narrowly
, 1.5-7 cm × (1-) 3-16 mm, apex obtuse
to acute in proximal
leaves, acute in distal leaves, glaucous. Pedicels 10-35 mm,
glabrous. Flowers: calyx 2.5-5 mm, lobes
glabrous, apex obtuse
; petals white, occasionally with pinkish purple veins,
or rarely pink, 6-15 mm.
. Seed coats
. 2n = 34 (Europe). [source]
Gypsophila elegans is frequently included in mixtures of œwildflower seeds used for roadside planting and other revegetation projects. A specimen specifically from such a mixture was seen from Louisiana, but such mixtures are used widely elsewhere and are believed to account for the presence of this species in Colorado and in at least one Utah locality . A report of this species from Labrador appears to have been based on garden plants . [source]
If Gypsophila elegans is divided into two varieties, following Y. I. Barkoudah (1962), plants in the flora area are var. elegans. Cultivars are much used by florists and are frequently grown as garden ornamentals . These may have supernumerary petals, petals to 25 mm, and/or pink to maroon petals. [source]
Flowers: Bloom Period: May, June, July, August. • Flower Color: near white, white
Size: 12-18" tall.
Roadsides and other open, sandy or rocky, disturbed sites; 0-2100 m ; introduced .
Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 2,793 meters (0 to 9,163 feet).
Duration: Annual , Biennial
Culture: Space 12-15" apart.
Soil: Minimum pH: 7.9 • Maximum pH: 8.5
Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Full Sun .
Temperature: Cold Hardiness: Not Applicable (map)
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Perleb, 1826
- Durande, 1782 ex A.L. de Jussieu, 1789, nom. cons.
- cariophyllacées, pinks
- Subfamily: Caryophylloideae ()
- Family: Caryophyllaceae () - Durande, 1782 ex A.L. de Jussieu, 1789, nom. cons. - cariophyllacées, pinks
- Suborder: Caryophyllineae () -
- Order: Caryophyllales () - Perleb, 1826
- Superorder: Caryophyllanae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Subclass: Caryophyllidae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- Infraphylum: Radiatopses () - Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
Status: Accepted Name
Last scrutiny: 15-Mar-2000
Members of the genus Gypsophila
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 38 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:
G. acorzonerifolia (Babysbreath) · G. acutifolia (Sharp-Leaf Baby's-Breath) · G. aretioides (Gypsophila) · G. arrostii (Arrost's Babysbreath) · G. briquetiana (Babys Breath) · G. cerastioides (Baby's Breath) · G. cerastoides (Babys Breath) · G. elegans (Babys Breath) · G. elegans 'Carminea' (Babys Breath) · G. elegans 'Giant White' (Babys Breath) · G. elegans 'Snow Fountain' (Babys Breath) · G. fastigiata 'Silverstar' (Babys Breath) · G. muralis (Annual Gypsophila) · G. muralis 'Garden Bride' (Annual Gypsophila) · G. muralis 'Gypsy Deep Rose' (Annual Gypsophila) · G. oldhamiana (Oldham's Babysbreath) · G. paniculata (Baby's Breath) · G. paniculata Snowflake (Baby's Breath) · G. paniculata var. Paniculata (Baby's Breath) · G. paniculata 'Bristol Fairy' (Bristol Fairy Baby's Breath) · G. paniculata 'Compacta Plena' (Babys Breath) · G. paniculata 'Festival Star' (Babys Breath) · G. paniculata 'Pink Star' (Babys Breath) · G. paniculata 'Rumba' (Baby's Breath 'rumba') · G. paniculata 'Viette's Dwarf' (Babys Breath) · G. perfoliata (Perfoliate Baby's-Breath) · G. perfoliata var. latifolia (Perfoliate Babysbreath) · G. perfoliata var. perfoliata (Perfoliate Babysbreath) · G. petraea (Babys Breath) · G. pilosa (Applecactus) · G. repens (Creeping Babysbreath) · G. repens 'Alba' (Creeping Baby's Breath) · G. repens 'Rosea' (Creeping Baby's Breath) · G. scorzonerifolia (Baby's Breath) · G. stevenii (Steven's Babysbreath) · G. tenuifolia (Babys Breath) · G. violacea (Gypsophila) · G. 'Perfecta' (Babys Breath)
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- Bisby, F.A., Y.R. Roskov, M.A. Ruggiero, T.M. Orrell, L.E. Paglinawan, P.W. Brewer, N. Bailly, J. van Hertum, eds (2007). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2007 Annual Checklist. Species 2000: Reading, U.K.
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Accessed through GBIF Data Portal December 05, 2007:
- Australian National Herbarium
- , Australian National Herbarium
- Berkeley Natural History Museums, University and Jepson Herbaria DiGIR provider
- Bundesamt für Naturschutz / Zentralstelle für Phytodiversität Deutschland, Bundesamt fuer Naturschutz / Zentralstelle fuer Phytodiversitaet Deutschland
- Jyväskylä University Museum - The Section of Natural Sciences, Vascular plant collection of Jyvaskyla University Museum
- Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden
- Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Vascular Plant Herbarium, Oslo
- Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Vascular Plants, Field notes, Oslo
- Oregon State University, Vascular Plant Collection
- The Swedish Museum of Natural History
- , Herbarium of Oskarshamn
- The Swedish Museum of Natural History
- , Plants
- UK National Biodiversity Network, Botanical Society of the British Isles - Vascular Plants Database
- USDA PLANTS, USDA PLANTS Database
- University of Alaska Museum of the North, University of Alaska Museum of the North Herbarium
- Utah State University, USU-UTC Specimen Database
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2646578
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: ITS-20291
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 4490920
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:154453-1
- GRIN Nomen Number: 18128
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 20291
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: PDCAR0A020
- U.S.D.A. Plant Symbol: GYEL
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 41359
- Dequan Lu, Zhengyi Wu, Lihua Zhou, Shilong Chen, Michael G. Gilbert, Magnus Lidén, John McNeill, John K. Morton, Bengt Oxelman, Richard K. Rabeler, Mats Thulin, Nicholas J. Turland & Warren L. Wagner "Caryophyllaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 6 Page 1. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
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- "Gypsophila elegans". in Flora of North America Vol. 5. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- Mean = 306.310 meters (1,004.954 feet), Standard Deviation = 469.040 based on 126 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]