Herbaceous perennial that can be 2-4’ tall. The blue-green stems are wiry and freely-branched. The stems are covered with a white powdery film and are hairless.
OverviewOther names for this plant include:
- Common names: tall baby's-breath, baby's-breath.
- Scientific names: Gypsophila paniculata var. paniculata.
- It is often found in wildflower mixes and is often used at weddings and in floral arrangements.
- Prefers disturbed landscapes where it is typically not a problem. However, when it becomes established in sandy soils like the shores of the Great Lakes, it stabilizes the naturally shifting dunes and replaces native vegetation.
Classification in Wisconsin: Not regulated.
Leaves: Opposite, hairless, lance-shaped (1-4” long, 0.4” wide), and have one prominent vein. Leaves become smaller towards the top.
Flowers: White-pink, very small, numerous, and occur at ends of branches in loose clusters. They have a sweet fragrance and bloom July- August.
Fruits & seeds: Egg-shaped to round seed capsules containing 2-5 seeds.
Roots: Long, woody root up to 12’ deep.
Similar species: False baby’s breath (Galium mollugo) flowers have four white petals while there are five in baby’s breath. Also, leaves are in whorls of 6-8 leaves compared to the opposite leaves of baby’s breath.
Mechanical: Dig out at least 4” below the soil surface and dispose of plant tops; spot burn with a propane torch in early spring. Monitor for resprouts.
Chemical: Foliar spray with imazapic with MSO at bud to early bloom stage.
View baby's breath pictures in our photo gallery!