Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila paniculata)

Baby’s Breath, Gypsophila paniculate, invasive plant

General: Tumbleweed shaped plant.

Height: Grows up to 1m tall.

Flowers: Small white flowers. Flowers are 1.5-3mm wide with 5 petals. They occur at the end of the stem in a cluster.

Leaves/Stems: Slender leaves covered in a powdery film. Leaves are 1.8-10 cm long and shorter toward the top of the stem.

Root: Taproot that is up to 3.6m deep.

Bristol fairy, Maiden’s breath

Native plant Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis magaritacea). This plant has soft, hairy leaves and is not bushy.

Where did it come from? Introduced from Eurasia as an ornamental. It is still used extensively in the floral industry.

Where does it grow here? It prefers disturbed areas, open spaces like grasslands, pastures and roadsides. It grows in sandy soils.

Reproduction: Only by seed. One plant can produce up to 13,000 seeds. Seeds stay viable in soil for up to 2 years.

When does it grow, flower & seed? Sprouts in April. Flowers June-July. Seeds August - October.

Spreads By: Primarily by wind. The stem breaks off at the bottom and the plant becomes a tumbleweed spreading seeds as it moves.

Plant Type: Annual

  • Baby’s Breath can contaminate hay.
  • Reduces the value of the hay crops.
  • Takes over pastures and roadsides.
  • Out-competes native & forage species.
  • Creates monocultures.
  • Review your property regularly for this species.
  • Treatment by hand-pulling or digging is effective for small patches. The large taproot can be difficult to dig out. Remove small patches before the flowering stage. If possible, dig out the root because it can re-grow from the crown of root.
  • Cover bare patches or disturbed soil by planting or seeding with non-invasives.
  • Check areas where you have removed invasives for any new plants that year and in future growing seasons.
  • Dispose of invasive plants responsibly. Composting and burning are not recommended.
  • Contact LRISS for specific treatment recommendations.

Southern Interior Weed Management Committee. 2016. Invasive Plants of the Southern Interior BC.

Okanagan Invasive Species Online

Photo by J. Rasmussen

 

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