The perennial Gypsophila paniculata or gypsum herb
Gypsophila is a graceful plant with many small white flowers that give a special beauty to the plant due to their inflorescence. Gypsophila occurs as a perennial or annual plant in the Netherlands and Belgium and is native to Southeast Europe and Central Asia. The descendants of the original plant from 1596 are rare and they are gypsophila plants cultivated by growers, which can be found in many gardens. The symbolic meaning of gypsophila is innocence, purity and everlasting love and gypsophila is often used in a bridal bouquet.
- Gypsophila or baby’s breath
- Occurrence of feral Gypsophila paniculata in the Netherlands and Belgium
- The perennial Gypsophila paniculata as a steppe witch
- Characteristics of the gypsophila herb Gypsophila paniculata
- The blossoming
- Box fruit
- Gypsophila in a bridal bouquet
Gypsophila or baby’s breath
Gypsophila (Gypsophila) is a genus in the carnation family (Caryophyllaceae). The genus Gypsophila or gypsophila includes 126 species, which are native to the Eastern Mediterranean to Central Asia. The genus gypsophila includes species such as:
- Gypsophila paniculata or gypsophila herb, a perennial;
- Gypsophila muralis an annual plant;
- Gypsophila repens a creeping plant;
- Gypsophila elegans is an annual plant.
Occurrence of feral Gypsophila paniculata in the Netherlands and Belgium
The different species of the genus Gypsophila were introduced to England around 1596 and from there went to the Netherlands and Belgium where they were planted as exotic plants in the ornamental garden. From the ornamental garden, the seed of the plant was spread over the years and continued to grow spontaneously in sandy places in nature. These feral species can still be observed in a few places in the Netherlands and Belgium in the 21st century. The gypsophila in today’s gardens are plants grown by growers.
Difference perennial and annual plant
An annual plant must be re-sown every year, such as the Gypsophila muralis. Perennials are perennials that die back above ground in autumn and sprout again in spring, such as Gypsophila paniculata and Gypsophila repens.
The perennial Gypsophila paniculata as a steppe witch
The Gypsophila paniculata is also called gypsophila herb, bridal veil or gypsophila herb. The name bridal veil should not be confused with the bridal veil of the genus Fallopia aubertii of the knotweed family (Polygonaceae). The plant Gypsophila paniculata or Baby’s Breath is native to the Asian steppes where it has a remarkable role. When the wind blows over the steppe in autumn, the gypsophila is blown loose and then rolls over the steppe like a round sphere, the steppe witches. The steppe witches release their seeds during this rolling and thus spread the seed.
Characteristics of the gypsophila herb Gypsophila paniculata
The perennial Gypsophila paniculata or gypsophila herb has a maximum height of about 100 centimeters. A number of upright stems emerge from the rhizome. The stems need a support because otherwise they will grow further flat or be blown over. The lower part of the stems has large (5 to 7 centimeters) lanceolate and green leaves facing each other. The leaves at the top of the stem are closer together and are smaller (1.5 to 4 centimeters) than the bottom leaves. The stems are richly branched with a haze of small, often white flowers at the top of the stem.
The flowering time of the baby’s breath is from July to August. The many small flowers are in a side screen and have a bell-shaped calyx with five petals of about two millimeters. The petals have a slightly arched top edge and are arranged in five green pointed sepals. The sepals change into a five to twenty millimeter long flower stalk. The green pistil (female genital organ) consists of the supine ovary where two styles with pistil stand. Next to the ovary are five to ten white stamens (the male sexual organs). After flowering, a capsule containing the seed forms from the ovary. Gypsophila requires a sunny, warm spot on a soil that is not too poor and outside the shadow zone of trees and shrubs.
The fruit is a single-celled and dehiscent capsule with black kidney-shaped seed.
Gypsophila in a bridal bouquet
The symbolic meaning of gypsophila is innocence, purity and everlasting love and gypsophila is often used in bridal bouquets. This in combination with red roses that have the symbolic meaning “I love you”.