Jepson 1993, McDougall 1973
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Herbaceous perennial arising from a woody base, branching below the ground, glabrous or canescent-strigose with long, spreading hairs, to 50 cm tall. Leaves: Alternate, linear to narrowly elliptic, margins entire to coarsely wavy-serrate. Flowers: Yellow, white, pink, or red, fading red or light purple, bilateral, petals and sepals 4, stamens 8. Fruits: Nut-like, 4-angled, widest at or above the middle, winged only above, the basal portion thick and terete, pubescent, indehiscent, persistent, seeds 3-4 ovoid, flat-sided, tan. Ecology: Found on limestone substrates and on dry slopes, joshaua tree or pinyon-juniper communities; 2,000-8,000 ft (610-2438 m); flowering April-September. Distribution: Most of western N. Amer. from TX northwest to Ontario, west to British Columbia and south through CA to s MEX. Notes: Can be distinguished by being a perennial with widely-linear, toothed leaves which can appear gray-green due to the stiff, appressed hairs; the petals are semi-small for an oenothera, 4-8 mm; the fruit is indehiscent and widest above the middle. Ethnobotany: Used to stop vomiting, for life medicine, and as an aid in catching wild horses. Etymology: Gaura is from the Greek -gauros- superb or proud, presumably because of the erect, proud petals, while coccinea means scarlet, or deep red or pink. Synonyms: Gaura coccinea var. arizonica, Gaura coccinea var. epilobioides, Gaura coccinea var. glabra, Gaura coccinea var. parvifolia, Gaura coccinea var. typica, Gaura glabra, Gaura odorata Editor: LCrumbacher and SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015
Clumped perennial 2-5(10) dm, spreading by roots, strigose or partly villous, varying to subglabrous; lvs crowded, lanceolate to narrowly oblong, mostly 1-4 cm and entire or coarsely few-toothed, or the lower larger and more cleft, but deciduous; spikes 5-15 cm, densely fld and elongating with age, often lax or nodding at the tip; bracts 2-5 mm; sep 5-9 mm, separately reflexed; pet 3-7 mm, becoming orange-red or deep maroon; fr strigose-puberulent, sessile, the terminal part 3-5 mm, strongly 4-angled and pyramidal (but with concave sides), abruptly contracted to a stout, 8-ribbed, subterete, stipe-like base mostly 1.5-2 mm long and nearly or fully as thick; seeds (1-)3 or 4; 2n=14, 28, 42, 56. Dry prairies and plains; s. Sask. and w. Minn. to w. Mo. and Tex., w. to B.C. and Calif., and s. to Mex.; occasionally intr. eastward to N.Y. May-Aug.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
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