Scientific Name: Oenothera lindheimeri or Gaura lindheimeri
- Order: Myrtales
- Family: Onagraceae
- Genus: Oenothera
- Species: O. lindheimeri
Native to southeast U.S. and northern Mexico, Lindheimer’s beeblossom features a delicate four-petaled white-to-pink flower on long, upright stems. Underground, a vertical root, called a taproot, keeps many such stems together in a shrub-like clump.
The blossoms have an interesting shape — all four petals are on the upper side of the flower, while eight stamens and a pistil extend out of the lower half. Growing several feet into the air, the beeblossoms love sunlight and are very tolerant of heat. However, they don’t do as well in cold winter climates. Luckily, they bloom for a long time, from late spring into early fall.
The white flowers slowly age into a pink color, and many cultivars of this beeblossom have been produced, with different shades of pink, as well as with a variety of sizes.
The scientific name of Lindheimer’s beeblossom, particularly the genus, is sometimes confusing. Originally, this species, along with several others, were part of the Gaura genus. Later, all the gauras were moved into the Oenothera, or evening primrose, genus.
Because the change was relatively recent, the world of gardening still calls Lindheimer’s beeblossom “Gaura lindheimeri“, but when classified, they are part of the Oenothera genus. This is why another common name for this beeblossom is “white gaura.”
Gaura means “superb,” but where does lindheimeri come from? The name comes from the 18000s Texan botanist named Ferdinand Lindheimer, who was dubbed “Father of Texas Botany.” Nearly fifty species have been named after him.