SCARLET GAURA
File Size: 70 KB
 
Gaura coccinea  Pursh
Barber County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 8-24 inches
Family: Onagraceae - Evening Primrose Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July, August
Stems: Erect to ascending, several to many, slender, branched at bases, densely short-hairy or nearly glabrous.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, mostly sessile, linear to lanceolate or narrowly elliptic, .25 to 2.25 inches long, less than .5 inch wide, minutely pubescent; margins entire or shallow-toothed; tips pointed or blunt.
Inflorescences: Racemes, spike-like, 2 to 16 inches long.
Flowers: Sepals 4, linear; flowers sessile, initially white, fading pink or red; petals 4, to .25 inch long, clawed; stamens 8, anthers yellow to red; stigma deeply 4-lobed.
Fruits: Capsules, nutlike, cylindric, narrowed above; seeds 1-4, tiny, reddish brown.
Habitat: Dry prairies, open wooded hillsides, roadsides, and stream valleys.
Distribution: West 2/3 of Kansas.
Uses: The Lakota Sioux rubbed this plant on their hands to make them sticky to aid in catching horses, and the Navajo used a cold tea made from scarlet gaura to settle children's upset stomachs.
Comments: Scarlet gaura forms colonies.

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