Velvetweed - Oenothera curtiflora (Gaura mollis/parviflora)

(Velvety Gaura, Downy Gaura, Smallflower Gaura, Lizard Tail, Willow Gaura, Linda Tarde)

Family: (Onagraceae) - Native


On church wall (N35D32'59.670 X W105D41'21.287)

Flowers first observed: 5/27/17

The Plant/w Flowers




"(It is) native to the central United States and northern Mexico, from Nebraska and Wyoming south to Durango and Nuevo Leon.[1]." (Wikipedia)


"It is an annual plant growing to 0.2–2 m (rarely 3 m) tall, unbranched, or if branched, only below the flower spikes. The leaves are 2–20 centimetres (0.79–7.87 in) long, lance-shaped, and are covered with soft hair. The flower spikes are 20–30 centimetres (7.9–11.8 in) long, covered with green flower buds, which open at night or before dawn with small flowers 5 millimetres (0.20 in) diameter with four pink petals.[2][3][4]" (Wikipedia)

"Coarse, erect, taprooted native annual or biennial; single-stemmed, branched above; up to 2 m. Herbage clothed with soft long hairs, sometimes glandular.  Leaves: Lance-ovate to lanceolate or oblong, obtuse at the base, remotely denticulate, up to 10 cm long; larger leaves usually at least 4 cm.  Flowers: Inflorescence of elongate many-flowered spikes, bracts slender 1.5-5.5 mm long, deciduous; flowers quite small, self-pollinating; floral tube 1.5-5 mm long; 4 sepals 2-3.5 mm long; separately reflexed at anthesis; 4 petals 1.5-3 mm long, red to pink. Fruits: Capsule glabrous or seldom short-hairy, 5-10 mm long, spindle-shaped to lanceolate, 4-angled, tapering to a slender base." (SEINet)

Ethnobotanical Uses


"Navajo, Kayenta Unspecified Roots stewed with meat or roasted and used for food." (Moerman 245)


"Among the Zuni people, fresh or dried root would be chewed by medicine man before sucking snakebite and poultice applied to wound.[8]" (Wikipedia)

"Hopi Snakebite Remedy Decoction of root taken for snakebite. Isleta Dermatological Aid Fresh, soft leaves worn as a headband for their cooling effect in hot weather. Keres, Western Febrifuge Leaves used for fever and the cooling effect. Sedative Fresh leaves used in pillows to overcome insomnia. Navajo Burn Dressing Infusion of plant used for burns. Dermatological Aid Infusion of plant used for inflammation. Navajo, Keyenta Disinfectant Plant used as a fumigant. Gynecological Aid Poultice of plant applied for postpartum sore breast." (Moerman 244)

Other Uses:

"Navajo Protection Plant used to keep the dancers from burning themselves during the Fire Dance at the Mountain Chant." (Moerman 245)

Internet Links