- Gypsophila paniculata
Baby’s breath (Gypsophila paniculata) is a herbaceous perennial plant that invades grazing land and out-competes native and introduced perennial grasses. Plants flourish in the well-drained sandy or gravelly soils of vacant lots and along fencelines, establishing unsightly infestations. Baby's breath that mixes with hay reduces the protein value of the crop, making it less valuable for livestock and wildlife forage.
Though considered unsightly as an escape ornamental, the delicate white or pink blooms and bushy stalks of baby's breath are used extensively in the floral industry for dried and fresh flower arrangements. Seeds often continue to develop in floral arrangements, allowing easy spread. A single plant can produce more than 10,000 seeds that can travel long distances when a complete stalk rolls freely like a tumbleweed.
A few native and ornamental alternatives to plant instead of baby's breath include: Pearly Everlasting; Filigran Russian Sage; Hewitt’s Double Meadow Rue; Sea Lavender; and White Flax. Read more about these alternatives in the Grow Me Instead booklet for BC.