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lizard-tail, small-flower bee-blossom, small-flower gaura, velvet weed

Habit Herbs annual, strigillose, glandular puberulent, and long-villous; from heavy taproot, 2–4 cm diam.

erect, unbranched or many-branched distally, (20–)30–200(–300) cm.


in a basal rosette and cauline, basal 4–15 × 1.5–3 cm, petiole 0–1.8 cm, blade broadly oblanceolate, margins sinuate-dentate to dentate;

cauline 2–13 × 0.5–5 cm, petiole 0–2 cm, blade nar­rowly elliptic to narrowly ovate, margins sinuate-dentate to dentate.


relatively long, dense.


4-merous, nearly actinomorphic, opening near sunset;

floral tube 1.5–5 mm;

sepals 2–3.5 mm;

petals white, fading pale to dark pink, slightly unequal, oblong-obovate to elliptic-oblanceolate, 1.5–3 mm, abruptly clawed;

filaments 1.5–3 mm, anthers 0.5–1 mm, pollen 85–100% fertile;

style 3–9 mm, stigma surrounded by anthers at anthesis.


fusiform, terete, weakly angled in distal 1/3, angles becoming broad and rounded in proximal part, 5–11 × 1.5–3 mm, tapering abruptly toward base;



3 or 4, reddish brown, 2–3 × 1–1.5 mm.


= 14.

Oenothera curtiflora

Phenology Flowering (Feb–)Apr–Oct.
Habitat Rocky prairie slopes, woodlands, along streams, roadsides, disturbed areas.
Elevation 10–2800 m. [0–9200 ft.]
from FNA
AL; AR; AZ; CA; CO; FL; GA; IA; ID; IL; IN; KS; KY; LA; MA; MD; MN; MO; MT; NE; NM; NV; OK; OR; SC; SD; TN; TX; UT; VA; WA; WY; Mexico (Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, Sinaloa, Zacatecas) [Introduced in South America (Argentina), Asia (China, Japan), Australia]
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]

Oenothera curtiflora is self-compatible and autoga­mous (P. H. Raven and D. P. Gregory 1972[1973]). Sometimes it is apparently a biennial. The species is native to grassland regions and open areas across much of interior North America. The full extent of its indigenous range is not clear and collections from the eastern half of the United States (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Tennessee) and California may be more recent introductions. Gaura mollis Nuttall ex Torrey 1827 is an isonym of G. mollis E. James 1822, a suppressed name.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 10.
Parent taxa Onagraceae > subfam. Onagroideae > tribe Onagreae > Oenothera > sect. Gaura > subsect. Schizocarya
Sibling taxa
O. acutissima, O. albicaulis, O. argillicola, O. arida, O. arizonica, O. biennis, O. boquillensis, O. brachycarpa, O. calcicola, O. californica, O. canescens, O. capillifolia, O. cavernae, O. cespitosa, O. cinerea, O. clelandii, O. coloradensis, O. cordata, O. coronopifolia, O. coryi, O. curtissii, O. deltoides, O. demareei, O. dodgeniana, O. drummondii, O. elata, O. engelmannii, O. falfurriae, O. filiformis, O. filipes, O. flava, O. fruticosa, O. gaura, O. gayleana, O. glaucifolia, O. glazioviana, O. grandiflora, O. grandis, O. harringtonii, O. hartwegii, O. havardii, O. heterophylla, O. hispida, O. howardii, O. humifusa, O. jamesii, O. kunthiana, O. laciniata, O. lavandulifolia, O. lindheimeri, O. linifolia, O. longissima, O. macrocarpa, O. mckelveyae, O. mexicana, O. nealleyi, O. neomexicana, O. nutans, O. nuttallii, O. oakesiana, O. organensis, O. pallida, O. parviflora, O. patriciae, O. perennis, O. pilosella, O. platanorum, O. podocarpa, O. primiveris, O. psammophila, O. pubescens, O. rhombipetala, O. riparia, O. rosea, O. serrulata, O. sessilis, O. simulans, O. sinuosa, O. spachiana, O. speciosa, O. stricta, O. suffrutescens, O. suffulta, O. tetraptera, O. texensis, O. toumeyi, O. triangulata, O. triloba, O. tubicula, O. villosa, O. wolfii, O. xylocarpa
Synonyms Gaura parviflora, G. australis, G. hirsuta, G. micrantha, G. parviflora var. lachnocarpa, Schizocarya micrantha
Name authority W. L. Wagner & Hoch: Syst. Bot. Monogr. 83: 211. (2007)
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