Baby's Breath

Gypsophila paniculata

Baby's Breath

Family: Caryophyllaceae

Other Common Names: tall baby's breath
Weed class: C
Year Listed: 1988
Native to: Europe and Asia
Is this Weed Toxic?:

not known to be

Why Is It a Noxious Weed?

Baby's breath is an ornamental species that has escaped cultivation and invaded pastures and rangeland. Once established, it forms dense stands and is difficult to control.

How would I identify it?

General Description

Baby's breath is a much-branched perennial herb growing up to 2.5 feet (0.75 meters) in height. It has a deep root system that helps it to survive in arid conditions.

Flower Description

Baby's breath has branched clusters of many small flowers. Flowers have 5 white petals and 10 stamens.

Leaf description

Leaves are opposite, narrow and are covered with a dense bloom of hairs on both sides.

Stem description

Stems are upright or ascending at the base and single to many in number.

Fruit Seed Description

Flowers form capsules that contain small black seeds, 0.06 to 0.08 inches (1.5 to 2.0 mm) long

Where does it grow?

Baby's breath can withstand considerable variation in both temperature and moisture while being most aggressive in areas of low rainfall. It is commonly found in lightly grazed pastures, roadside ditches, hay fields, and abandoned fields. Please click here to see a county level distribution map of baby's breath in Washington.

How Does it Reproduce?

Baby’s breath spreads by seed with a single plant averaging 13,700 seeds. Seeds are wind dispersed and can travel great distances. It can also increase the number of stems per plant as the roots age and increase in diameter.

How Do I Control It?

Mechanical Control

Plants vigor is little reduced by mowing or clipping or by light or infrequent grazing.

Cultural Control

Heavy and continuous grazing can suppress the growth of mature plants and prevent seedling establishment.

Herbicide Control

Please refer to the PNW Weed Management Handbook, or contact your county noxious weed coordinator.

For More Information

See our Written Findings for more information about babys breath (Gypsophila paniculata).

WTU Herbarium (WTU) image database information.

Additional Photos