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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Ordo: Caryophyllales

Familia: Caryophyllaceae
Tribus: Caryophylleae
Genus: Gypsophila
Subgenera: G. subg. Gypsophila – G. subg. Pseudosaponaria

G. acantholimoides – G. acutifolia – G. adenophora – G. adenophylla – G. albida – G. alsinoides – G. altissima – G. alvandica – G. antari – G. antoninae – G. arabica – G. aretioides – G. arrostii – G. arsusiana – G. aucheri – G. aulieatensis – G. babatagi – G. baytopiorum – G. bazorganica – G. bermejoi – G. bicolor – G. biovulata – G. bitlisensis – G. boissieriana – G. brachypetala – G. briquetiana – G. bucharica – G. capillaris – G. capitata – G. capituliflora – G. caricifolia – G. cephalotes – G. collina – G. curvifolia – G. damascena – G. davisii – G. davurica – G. desertorum – G. diffusa – G. elegans – G. elymaitica – G. erikii – G. eriocalyx – G. farsensis – G. fastigiata – G. fedtschenkoana – G. festucifolia – G. germanicopolitana – G. glandulosa – G. glauca – G. glomerata – G. graminifolia – G. guvengorkii – G. gypsophiloides – G. hakkiarica – G. herniarioides – G. heteropoda – G. hispida – G. huashanensis – G. imbricata – G. intricata – G. iranica – G. juzepczukii – G. krascheninnikovii – G. laricina – G. leioclada – G. lepidioides – G. leucochlaena – G. libanotica – G. licentiana – G. lignosa – G. linearifolia – G. litwinowii – G. lurorum – G. macedonica – G. melampoda – G. meyeri – G. modesta – G. mongolica – G. mozaffarianii – G. mucronifolia – G. munzurensis – G. muralis – G. myriantha – G. nabelekii – G. nana – G. neoszovitsiana – G. nodiflora – G. obconica – G. oblanceolata – G. oldhamiana – G. oligosperma – G. olympica – G. osmangaziensis – G. pacifica – G. pallasii – G. pallida – G. paniculata – G. papillosa – G. parva – G. patrinii – G. perfoliata – G. persica – G. peshmenii – G. pilosa – G. pilulifera – G. pinifolia – G. platyphylla – G. polyclada – G. porphyrantha – G. preobrashenskii – G. pseudomelampoda – G. pseudopallida – G. pulvinaris – G. repens – G. reuteri – G. robusta – G. rupestris – G. ruscifolia – G. sambukii – G. saponarioides – G. scariosa – G. scorzonerifolia – G. sedifolia – G. sericea – G. serpylloides – G. sewerzowii – G. silenoides – G. simonii – G. simulatrix – G. spinosa – G. steupii – G. stevenii – G. struthium – G. subaphylla – G. szovitsii – G. takhtadzhanii – G. tenuifolia – G. thyraica – G. tomentosa – G. torulensis – G. transalaica – G. transcaucasia – G. tschiliensis – G. tuberculosa – G. tubulosa – G. turcica – G. umbricola – G. uralensis – G. vaccaria – G. vedeneevae – G. venusta – G. villosa – G. vinogradovii – G. virgata – G. viscosa – G. visianii – G. volgensis – G. wendelboi – G. wilhelminae – G. xanthochlora – G. yazdiana – G. yusufeliensis – G. zhegulensis

G. × castellana

Gypsophila L., Sp. Pl. 1: 406 (1753); Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 191 (1754).

Lectotype species: G. repens
L., Sp. Pl. 1: 406 (1753), designated by N.L. Britton & A. Brown, Ill. Fl. N.U.S. ed. 2. 2: 71. 1913, supported by Hitchcock, Prop. Brit. Bot. 154. 1929)


Lanaria Adans., Fam. 2: 255. (1763) nom. rej.
Arrostia Raf., Caratt. Nuovi Gen. Sp. Sicilia 2: 75. (1810)
Banffya Baumg., Enum. Stirp. Transsilv. 1: 385. (1816)
Dichoglottis Fisch. & C.A.Mey., Ind. Semm. Hort. Bot. Petrop. 1: 25. (1835)
Ankyropetalum Fenzl, Bot. Zeitung (Berlin) 1: 393 (1843) sensu Mahdi et al. (2018), but not all combinations treated in their analysis, so taxon page has to remain on WS.
Timaeosia Klotzsch, Bot. Ergebn. Reise Waldemar 138. (1862)
Bolbosaponaria Bondarenko, Opred. Rast. Sred. Azii 2: 327. (1971)
Pseudosaponaria (F.N.Williams) Ikonn., Novosti Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 15: 145. (1979)

Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus I: 406. Reference page.

Additional references

Britton, N.L. & Brown, A. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British possessions: from Newfoundland to the parallel of the southern boundary of Virginia, and from the Atlantic Ocean westward to the 102d meridian. ed. 2. C. Scribner's sons, New York. Vol. 2: 71. Reference page.
Hitchcock, A.S. & Green, M.L. 1929. Standard species of Linnaean genera of Phanerogamae (1753–1754). pp. 111–195 in International Botanical Congress. Cambridge (England), 1930. Nomenclature. Proposals by British Botanists. His Majesty's Stationery Office, London. Biblioteca Digital Reference page.
Ataşlar, E. & Ocak, A. 2005. Gypsophila osmangaziensis (Caryophyllaceae), a new species from Central Anatolia, Turkey. Annales Botanici Fennici 42(1): 57–60. PDF Reference page.
Budak, Ü. 2012. Gypsophila yusufeliensis (Caryophyllaceae), a New Species from Turkey. Annales Botanici Fennici 49(5): 425-427. DOI: 10.5735/085.049.0620 Reference page.
Hernández-Ledesma, P., Berendsohn, W. G., Borsch, T., Mering, S. v., Akhani, H., Arias, S., Castañeda-Noa, I., Eggli, U., Eriksson, R., Flores-Olvera, H., Fuentes-Bazán, S., Kadereit, G., Klak, C., Korotkova, N., Nyffeler R., Ocampo G., Ochoterena, H., Oxelman, B., Rabeler, R. K., Sanchez, A., Schlumpberger, B. O. & Uotila, P. 2015. A taxonomic backbone for the global synthesis of species diversity in the angiosperm order Caryophyllales. Willdenowia 45(3): 281–383. DOI: 10.3372/wi.45.45301 Open access Reference page.
Armağan, M. 2016. Gypsophila munzurensis (Caryophyllaceae), a new species from Tunceli (Turkey). Phytotaxa 275(2): 175–180. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.275.2.9Paywall Reference page.
Madhani, H., Rabeler, R.K., Pirani, A., Oxelman, B., Heubl, G. & Zarre, S. 2018. Untangling phylogenetic patterns and taxonomic confusion in tribe Caryophylleae (Caryophyllaceae) with special focus on generic boundaries. Taxon 67(1): 83–112. DOI: 10.12705/671.6 PDF Reference page.

Links 2017. Gypsophila. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2017 June 21.
Hassler, M. 2020. Gypsophila. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2020. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 May 8. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Gypsophila in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 May 8. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Gypsophila. Published online. Accessed: 8 May 2020.
Farr, E.R. & Zijlstra, G. (eds.) 1996 onwards. Gypsophila in Index Nominum Genericorum (Plantarum). Accessed: 2020 Sep 27.

Vernacular names
azərbaycanca: Çoğan
башҡортса: Ҡамғаҡ
беларуская: Вапнаўка
čeština: šater
dansk: Gipsurt
Deutsch: Gipskräuter
English: Baby's Breath, Soap Wort
español: Gypsophila
eesti: Kipslill
فارسی: گچ‌دوست
suomi: Raunikit, harsot
français: Gypsophiles
עברית: גיבסנית
hornjoserbsce: Łyšćica
հայերեն: Ցմախ
日本語: カスミソウ属
ქართული: წინწკალა
қазақша: Аққаңбақ
kurdî: Kerebîç
lietuvių: Guboja
polski: Łyszczec, Gipsówka
русский: Качим
slovenčina: pieskovka
svenska: Slöjsläktet
Türkçe: Çöven otu
українська: Лещиця
中文: 石頭花屬

Gypsophila /dʒɪpˈsɒfɪlə/[1][2] is a genus of flowering plants in the carnation family, Caryophyllaceae. They are native to Eurasia, Africa, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.[3] Turkey has a particularly high diversity of Gypsophila taxa, with about 35 endemic species.[4] Some Gypsophila are introduced species in other regions.[3]

The genus name is from the Greek gypsos ("gypsum") and philios ("loving"), a reference to the gypsum-rich substrates on which some species grow.[3] Plants of the genus are known commonly as baby's-breath, or babe's breath,[3][5] a name which also refers specifically to the well known ornamental species Gypsophila paniculata.


Gypsophila is one of the most heterogeneous and largest groups in the carnation tribe, Caryophylleae. The genus comprises approximately 150 species of annual or perennial herbaceous, creeping or cushion-forming plants, inhabiting primarily the mountainous steppes in the north temperate part of the Old World with a diversification hotspot in the Irano-Turanian region.[6] These species also show major variation in inflorescence type ranging from many-flowered lax thyrses or panicles (e.g., G. elegans M.Bieb., G. paniculata L., G. pilosa Huds.) to compact head-like cymes ( G. capitata M.Bieb., G. capituliflora Rupr., G. caricifolia Boiss.), and few-(uni-)flowered raceme-like monochasia (e.g., G. bazorganica Rech.f., G. saponarioides Bornm. & Gauba). Each small flower has a cup-like calyx of white-edged green sepals containing five petals in shades of white or pink. The fruit is a rounded or oval capsule opening at valves. It contains several brown or black seeds which are often shaped like a kidney or a snail shell.[3]

A few species are commercially cultivated for several uses, including floristry, herbal medicine, and food. The baby's-breath most commonly used in flower arrangements such as bouquets is the common gypsophila, G. paniculata.[7] G. elegans is also used as a cut flower.[8]

The genus is a source of saponins that can be used for many purposes, including the production of photographic film and hemolytic laboratory reagents. Their detergent qualities make them useful in soap and shampoo.[7]

G. rokejeka is used to make the dessert halva.[7] Species are also ingredients in liqueur, cheese, and ice cream, providing flavor, aroma, and crispness to foods.[9]

Several species are hyperaccumulators of boron, and may be planted to absorb the element from polluted soils.[9]

Some species are known as weeds, including the "aggressive ornamental" G. paniculata, which invades habitat and competes with native flora.[10]

The plant Çöven, Gypsophila simonii is widely distributed throughout Çankırı, where it is a native species, and Turkey. In this study, chemical and physical properties of unripe saponins obtained by extraction from the roots of Gypsophila simonii, an endemic plant, were isolated and investigated. Purified aglycones recovered from acid hydrolysis of the saponins were separated by reversed chromatography on a thin layer of silica gel. Phytochemical tests showed the presence of terpenoids in the crude extracts.[11][12]
Selected species

There are about 150 species in the genus.[3][13]
Gypsophila aretioides
Stereo image
Left frame
Right frame
Parallel view (Stereogram guide parallel.png)
Cross-eye view (Stereogram guide cross-eyed.png)
Gypsophila sp. seeds

Species include:

Gypsophila acantholimoides
Gypsophila achaia
Gypsophila acutifolia – sharpleaf baby's-breath
Gypsophila adenophora
Gypsophila adenophylla
Gypsophila albida
Gypsophila altissima
Gypsophila antari
Gypsophila antoninae
Gypsophila arabica
Gypsophila aretioides
Gypsophila arrostii – Arrost's baby's-breath
Gypsophila aucheri
Gypsophila aulieatensis
Gypsophila australis
Gypsophila bicolor
Gypsophila capituliflora
Gypsophila caricifolia
Gypsophila cephalotes
Gypsophila davurica
Gypsophila desertorum
Gypsophila elegans – showy baby's-breath
Gypsophila fastigiata – fastigiate gypsophila
Gypsophila glandulosa
Gypsophila glomerata
Gypsophila huashanensis
Gypsophila imbricata
Gypsophila intricata
Gypsophila iranica
Gypsophila krascheninnikovii
Gypsophila libanotica
Gypsophila licentiana
Gypsophila nana – dwarf gypsophila
Gypsophila oldhamiana – Manchurian baby's-breath, Oldham's baby's-breath
Gypsophila pacifica
Gypsophila paniculata – baby's-breath, common gypsophila, panicled baby's-breath
Gypsophila patrinii
Gypsophila perfoliata – perfoliate gypsophila
Gypsophila petraea
Gypsophila pilosa – Turkish baby's-breath
Gypsophila repens – alpine gypsophila, creeping baby's-breath
Gypsophila rokejeka
Gypsophila ruscifolia
Gypsophila scorzonerifolia – glandular baby's-breath, garden baby's-breath
Gypsophila sericea
Gypsophila silenoides
Gypsophila simonii
Gypsophila spergulifolia
Gypsophila spinosa
Gypsophila stevenii – Steven's baby's-breath
Gypsophila struthium
Gypsophila tenuifolia
Gypsophila tschiliensis
Gypsophila uralensis
Gypsophila venusta
Gypsophila viscosa
Gypsophila wendelboi
Gypsophila wilhelminae
Gypsophila xanthochlora

Gypsophila muralis (annual gypsophila, cushion baby's-breath, low baby's-breath) is now placed in the genus Psammophiliella.[14]

Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
Gypsophila at USDA PLANTS Database
Gypsophila. Flora of North America.
Korkmaz, M., et al. (2012). Habitat properties of some Gypsophila L. (Caryophyllaceae) taxa of Turkey. Biyoloji Bilimleri Araştırma Dergisi (BİBAD) 5(2), 111-25.
Gypsophila. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)
Madhani, Hossein; Rabeler, Richard; Pirani, Atefeh; Oxelman, Bengt; Heubl, Guenther; Zarre, Shahin (2018). "Untangling phylogenetic patterns and taxonomic confusion in tribe Caryophylleae (Caryophyllaceae) with special focus on generic boundaries" (PDF). Taxon. 67 (1): 83–112. doi:10.12705/671.6. hdl:2027.42/146908. ISSN 1996-8175.
Henry, M. Gypsophila paniculata L. (baby's breath): in vitro culture and the production of gypsogenin saponins. In: Medicinal and Aromatic Plants IV (pp. 187-206). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. 1993.
Gypsophila elegans. Archived 2013-10-29 at the Wayback Machine Landscape Horticulture. American University of Beirut.
Korkmaz, M., et al. Economic importance and using purposes of Gypsophila L. and Ankyropetalum Fenzl (Caryophyllaceae) of Türkiye. Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine In: 2nd International Symposium on Sustainable Development, June 8–9, 2010, Sarajevo.
Baby's Breath (Gypsophila paniculata). Plant Health & Pest Management, Ministry of Agriculture, British Columbia.
Yücekutlu, A. Nihal (2000). Çöven (Gypsophila simonii Hub. Mor) Kökünden Saponin Saflaştırılması, Gazi Üniversitesi Fen Bilimleri Enstitüsü, Kimya, Yüksek Lisans Tezi. 64s. Ankara.
Yücekutlu, A. Nihal and Bildacı, Işık (2008). "Determination of Plant Saponins and Some of Gypsophila Species. A Review of the Literature". Hacettepe Journal of Biology and Chemistry, 36(2), 129-135.
Gypsophila. The Plant List.
"Psammophiliella Ikonn". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2020-02-09.

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