Plant Image

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Oenothera hexandra - harlequinbush

Synonyms: Gaura hexandra, Gaura gracilis
Other Common Names: slender gaura
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Onagraceae

line decor
  Home   Plant Communities Plant List Search Forbs Search Grasses Search Woody Plants Additional Resources About this Website
line decor

Click on Any Image for a Larger View

Bracts and flower
Patrick Alexander @
Patrick Alexander @
Flower spike
Max Licher @
Max Licher @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual   Similar Species: Gaura coccinea
General Desc: Annual herb with a stout taproot, usually well-branched at the base and above. Flowers are pinkish and borne on tall, slender flower spikes. This plant can can be difficult to spot unless it is blooming.
Identification notes: Very similar to Gaura coccinea but primarily distinguished by its fruits being smooth, widest near the base, & strongly 4-ribbed throughout. Basal leaves, when present, tend to be larger, 4 to 10 cm long, and the margins more dentate.
Height: 39 inches


Habitat Description: In summer this plant can be found in ponderosa woodlands through much of Arizona. It also is found in drier, lower habitats such as grasslands, meadows, oak woodlands or disturbed areas.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 3500 - 8500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Pink and white     Shape: Irregular in elongated clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Apr - Oct
Description: The small flowers are borne on tall, slender flower spikes. The individual flowers have 3 or 4 bright pink and white, often twisted petals, 3 or 4 pinkish, reflexed sepals, and an elongated pistil.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: The leaves and stems are green and hairy. Leaves are alternate, elliptic to lanceolate (narrow oval shape tapering to a point at each end), with widely-spaced teeth.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Brown   
Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Notes: Seed capsule is smooth and oval, with four distinct ribs, and widest at the base.
Seed Notes: There are 3 seeds per capsule. Seeds are ovoid, usually flattened on one or several sides by crowding in the fruit, and yellowish to reddish-brown in color.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
Legal Disclaimer