Common Name: Common Baby's Breath
Scientific Name: Gypsophila paniculata
Habitat: roadsides, disturbed areas
Provincial Designation: Noxious
Noxious weeds are plant species designated in the Alberta Weed Control Act. Noxious weeds must be controlled, meaning their growth or spread needs to be prevented.
Common baby's breath is native to Eastern Europe and Western Asia and was most likely introduced to North America as an ornamental.
Common baby's breath has escaped cultivation sites and invaded pastures and rangeland where it alters habitats and reduces native biodiversity.
This weed has small white flowers that are only 3-8 mm wide.
The linear to narrow lance-shaped leaves are oppositely arranged along the stem. They are 2-10 mm wide, grey-green in colour and covered with a white powdery film.
Common baby's breath is highly branched from the base of the plant giving it a bush-like appearance. It grows up to 1 m tall.
Baby’s breath is a perennial that reproduces by seed only. In winter stems break off and tumble with the wind, spreading seed — a single plant can produce thousands of seeds. Many infestations have been found downwind from cemeteries!
Can be Confused With...
Broad-Leaved Pepper-Grass - Lepidium latifolium - but has Baby’s Breath has smaller flowers and a more bushy appearance.
German Stattice - Goniolimon tataricum - an ornamental garden plant that is fine for you to plant.
Learn more about this species:
See Fact Sheet - Alberta Invasive Species Council