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.


G. muralis.

Erect perennial; leaves lanceolate; flowers paniculate.


G. paniculata.

5 Gypsophila L Sp Pl 406 1753 167

1. Gypsophila Muralis L. Low Gypsophyll

Fig. 1825

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.

In waste places, Maine and Ontario to Michigan Minnesota, Massachusetts, southern New York and New Jersey. Adventive or naturalized from Europe. June-Sept.

2. Gypsophila Paniculate L. Tall Gyp-Sophyll

Fig. 1826

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.

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