E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Gypsophila paniculata L.
baby's breath
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Diane Williamson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #88271)

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Distribution of Gypsophila paniculata
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According to the Invasive Species Council of BC, this species: "Baby’s breath (Gypsophila paniculata) is a herbaceous perennial plant that invades grazing land and out-competes native and introduced perennial grasses." Read more about it at: https://bcinvasives.ca/invasive-species/identify/invasive-plants/babys-breath.

There are two species of baby's breath in British Columbia. These may be separated as follows:

1. Inflorescence glandular-hairy; calyx teeth 3-4 mm long.........G. scorzonerifolia

1. Inflorescence glabrous; calyx teeth 1.5-2.0 mm long...............G. paniculata

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Perennial herb from a thick root; stems usually much-branched, glabrous and more or less glaucous, 0.4-1.2 m tall.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves opposite, lanceolate to linear, 2-10 cm long, rarely over 2-9 mm wide, 1-nerved, unstalked; stipules lacking.
Inflorescence of numerous flowers in a large, diffusely branched, leafy-bracted, panicle-like cluster; flowers stalks glabrous; petals 5, white, oblanceolate, rounded to somewhat notched, stalklike at the base, slightly exceeding the calyces, about equalling the 10 stamens; sepals 5, glabrous, the white membrane below the notches contrasting strongly with the usually purplish back of the 5 lobes, united, forming a top-shaped tube 1.5-2 mm long.
Capsules egg-shaped, 2-3 mm long, 4-valved; seeds 2-5, blackish, 1.5-2 mm long, prominently cross-wrinkled and pimply in longitudinal, concentric rows.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry roadsides, fields and waste places in the steppe and lower montane zones; infrequent SC and SE BC; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Gypsophila paniculata

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 356 356 356
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 0
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
208 208 208
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 0 0
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Gypsophila paniculata var. paniculata

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References