This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Annual or perennial, branching or diffuse, mostly glabrous and glaucous herbs, with narrow leaves, and small numerous axillary or paniculate flowers. Calyx turbinate or campanu-late, 5-toothed, 5-nerved, bractless. Petals 5, entire or emarginate, their claws narrow. Stamens 10; styles 2. Capsule dehiscent by 4 valves extending to or below the middle Seeds reniform, laterally attached; embryo coiled. [Greek, in allusion to the supposed preference of some species for gypsum soils.]
About 60 species, natives of Europe, Asia and northern Africa. Type species: Gypsophila repens L.
Annual, diffuse; leaves narrowly linear; flowers axillary on filiform peduncles.
Erect perennial; leaves lanceolate; flowers paniculate.
Gypsophila muralis L. Sp. Pl. 408. 1753.
Annual, diffuse, slender, much branched, glabrous or slightly rough at the base, 4-7' high. Leaves narrowly linear or subulate, attenuate at each end, 3"-10" long, 1/4"-1/2" wide; peduncles slender, spreading or ascending, 3"-10" long; flowers purplish, 1 1/2"-2" broad; calyx turbinate, 1 1/2"-2" long, 5-toothed, the teeth rounded; petals crenate or emarginate, 2"-3" long, much exceeding the calyx; pod about 2" long, slightly longer than the calyx.
Gypsophila paniculata L. Sp. Pl. 407. 1753.
Perennial, glabrous or sometimes pubescent below, stem slender, erect, much branched, 1°-2° tall. Leaves lanceolate, those of the stem 1' long or more, 2"-4" wide, acuminate at the apex, narrowed at the base, those of the branches much smaller, the bracts and bractlets minute; flowers 1 1/2"-2" broad, very numerous in panicled cymes; pedicels 2"-5" long; calyx campanulate, 1" high, deeply 5-lobed, the segments with broad scarious margins; petals white or pink, slightly emarginate, one-fourth to one-half longer than the calyx.
Manitoba and Nebraska, escaped from cultivation. Fugitive from northern Europe or Asia. Mist. Baby's-breath. Summer.