Hardy, herbaceous, North American perennial
Description: Graceful panicles of airy, white flowers on willow-like stems in early summer through fall
Habit: Erect plants; 3 to 4 feet high and 2 feet wide
Culture: Prefers full sun; well-drained soil; drought and heat tolerant; cut back in mid-season of the second year to encourage fuller growth
Hardiness: Cold hardy to USDA Zone 6
Origin: North America
Attributes: Drought tolerant
Although native to Louisiana, Texas, and parts of Mexico, Gaura is hardy as far north as Washington state and eastern Massachusetts. It was introduced into England in 1850 and named for the great German botanist Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer. Peter Henderson noted in his Handbook of Plants (1890) that this was the only species "in general cultivation." He continued to observe that the "profusion of its spikes of graceful flowers, makes it a valuable plant for garden decoration; and the flowers are very useful for bouquets or vases."