Low perennial canescent or strigillose herbs with wiry diffusely branched stems. Leaves small, narrow, nearly entire or distantly toothed, narrowed into very short petioles. Flowers axillary, sessile. Calyx purplish, its tube cylindric, slightly dilated at the throat, its segments narrow, slightly longer than the tube, their tips united in the bud. Petals obovate, white or pink, spotted or striped with red. Stamens 8, the alternate ones longer; filaments filiform-subulate; anthers linear. Ovary 4-angfled, short; united styles stout, enlarged above; stigmas filiform. Capsules ovoid-pyramidal, sessile, attenuate into a curved beak, sharply 4-angled, the faces swollen. Seeds obovoid, angled, delicately striate. [Diminutive of Gaura.]

A monotypic genus of the west-central United States.

1. Gaurella Canescens (Torr.) Small. Spotted Primrose

Fig. 3061

Oenothera canescens Torr. Frem. Rep. 315. 1845. Oenothera guttulata Geyer; Hook. Lond. Journ.

Bot. 6: 222. 1847. Gaurella guttulata Small, Bull. Torr. Club 23: 183.


Diffusely branched from near or at the base, 4'-8' high, canescent with appressed hairs, the branches decumbent or ascending. Leaves lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, nearly sessile and narrowed at the base, obtusish at the apex, 4"-8" long, 1 1/2"-2" wide, repand-denticulate or entire; flowers axillary, white or pink, 9"-12" wide; calyx-lobes lanceolate, canescent, the tube longer than the ovary; petals obovate, entire; capsule ovate, canescent, 4"-5" long, angled, not winged, sessile; seeds angled, slipper-shaped.

Prairies, Nebraska to Texas, Colorado and New Mexico. June-Sept.

1 Gaurella Canescens Torr Small Spotted Primrose 1403