Butterfly Bush Gaura

Only early morning walks can reward the walker with the sight of a gaura bush in full bloom. The slightest bit of sun shrivels the white petals leaving only bits of ragged appearing pink bits until the next crop of flowers opens late in the evening.

gaura flowers

Several gaura flowers open each evening to lure moths overnight.

The bush isn’t much like a bush. It is a scraggy affair of long thin stems branching but never looking bushy. From a distance it seems a good candidate for weed classification.

On closer approach, each swaying branch is tipped with flowers. As it is with the bush, so it is with the flowers.

gaura flower

Gaura flowers are only an inch across. Although I’ve read how they are supposed to resemble a butterfly, they look more like a fan to me.

The gaura flowers look nothing like a normal flower. Regular flowers have a circle of petals surrounding the pistil and stamens. Gaura flowers do have all of these parts just in a different arrangement.

The four petals stick straight up. The stamens and pistil stick downwards from the petals as a group. To some people the upright petals are butterfly wings with the stamens and pistil forming the legs and antennae.

gaura flowers and buds

This branch has plenty of buds to keep those gaura flowers opening for several more days.

This is why some people call gaura a butterfly bush. Butterflies don’t seem impressed and rarely visit. Moths are more common.

Other flowers are more impressive than gaura. Some are as demanding. But gaura is still a treat to see on an early morning walk.