Gypsophila paniculata_C093-02
Photo courtesy UC Davis Weeds of California

Gypsophila paniculata Risk Assessment

Common names: baby's breath

Gypsophila paniculata -- California

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Evaluation Summary
Summary: 
General Evaluation Information
Date of Evaluation: 
June 29, 2016
Evaluation Time (hrs): 
Not Recorded
Evaluation Status: 
Completed
Plant Information
Plant Material: 
If the plant is a cultivar, and if the cultivar's behavior differs from its parent's (behavior), explain how: 
Regional Information
Region Name: 
Climate Matching Map
These maps were built using a toolkit created in collaboration between GreenInfo Network, PlantRight, Cal-IPC, and Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis.
Climate Matching Maps PDF: 
Invasive History and Climate Matching
1. Has the species (or cultivar or variety, if applicable; applies to subsequent "species" questions) become naturalized where it is not native?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Naturalized in southern Australia, New Zealand, eastern Europe and most of the US and Canada, including California.
Reference(s): 
2. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) noted as being naturalized in the US or world in a similar climate?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
2
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Besides California, it is naturalized in areas of the US, Canada, and southern Australia that are similar to California. Present in 8 California counties.
Reference(s): 
3. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) noted as being invasive in the U.S. or world?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
2
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Invasive in lakeshore dunes in Michigan, where it comprises 80% of the vegetation in some areas and overstabilizes dunes that were typically disturbed by wind (Emery 2013). Changes the physical structure of the habitat. Also invasive in mixed-grass prairie in Wyoming and listed as a noxious weed in California and Washington (Blumenthal 2008). In 2006, it was considered for the Cal-IPC Inventory but its distribution in natural areas was too limited to warrant a review.
Reference(s): 
4. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) noted as being invasive in the US or world in a similar climate?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
3
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
In California, grows in disturbed sites with sandy soils and in open, grassy areas. A B-rated noxious weed in California. Listed as a noxious weed in Washington because it forms dense stands in pastures and grasslands and is difficult to control. Escaped cultivation in both states.
Reference(s): 
5. Are other species of the same genus (or closely related genera) invasive in a similar climate?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Two other species of Gypsophila are naturalized in California but apparently not causing many ecological impacts. Several other species are listed in Randall 2012 but the citations are all listed as naturalized rather than invasive.
Reference(s): 
6. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) found predominately in a climate matching the region of concern?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
This species has a wide distribution in North America, Europe, and some in western Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Impact on Native Plants and Animals
7. Does this plant displace native plants and dominate (overtop or smother) the plant community in areas where it has established?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Displaces lakeshore dune vegetation in Michigan and prairie vegetation in Wyoming. Forms dense stands in pastures in Washington. In Michigan, it creates a shift from a grass-dominated plant community to one dominated by forbs, i.e. mostly Gypsophila.
Reference(s): 
8. Is the plant noted as promoting fire and/or changing fire regimes?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
No mention of this in references. It increases in areas with summer irrigation or snow (i.e. the water from snow provides moisture).
Reference(s): 
9. Is the plant a health risk to humans or animals/fish? Has the species been noted as impacting grazing systems?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
No references mentioned toxicity but it forms dense stands in pastures and rangelands in Washington and is difficult to control there. It competes with forage species and reduces the crude protein content of hay.
Reference(s): 
10. Does the plant produce impenetrable thickets, blocking or slowing movement of animals, livestock, or humans?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
Forms dense stands in pastures and on lake dunes. Grows 3 ft tall with slender, open-branched stems, and sparse foliage. Photos show a fairly dense bush that would be difficult to walk through when many plants are growing together.
Reference(s): 
Reproductive Strategies
11. Does this species (or cultivar or variety) reproduce and spread vegetatively?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Reproduces by seed.
Reference(s): 
12. If naturally detached fragments from this plant are capable of producing new plants, is this a common method of reproduction for the plant?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
Severed crown and rhizome pieces can generate new plants but root fragments do not generate new shoots. I'm a little uncertain of how to answer given the second part of that sentence.
Reference(s): 
13. Does the species (or cultivar or variety) commonly produce viable seed?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Reproduces by seed.
Reference(s): 
14. Does this plant produce copious viable seeds each year (> 1000)?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
One plant can produce several thousand seeds. Information from Washington says one plant can produce more than 13,000 seeds.
Reference(s): 
15. Is there significant germination (>25%) of seeds the next growing season, with no requirement of an infrequent environmental condition for seeds to germinate (i.e. fire) or long dormancy period?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Newly matured seeds have little to no dormancy period.
Reference(s): 
16. Does this plant produce viable seed within the first three years (for an herbaceous species) to five years (for a woody species) after germination?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
Numerous ornamental horticulture references state that the plant flowers within the first year of sowing ("4 to 6 months"). Although this is mentioned in horticultural conditions it would seem reasonable that naturally growing plants would certainly produce flowers and seed within two to three years. Seeds stored for 5 years had 100% germination (Kew Gardens Seed Information Database http://data.kew.org/sid/SidServlet?ID=11393&Num=0DD)
Reference(s): 
17. Does this plant continuously produce seed for >3 months each year or does seed production occur more than once a year?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
Flowers July to October in California.
Reference(s): 
Dispersal
18. Are the plant’s propagules frequently dispersed long distance (>100 m) by mammals or birds or via domestic animals?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
This does not seem to be a major form of dispersal.
Reference(s): 
19. Are the plant’s propagules frequently dispersed long distance (>100 m) by wind or water?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Most seeds fall near the plant but pieces of the plant can break off at the crown and tumble with the wind, scattering seeds longer distances.
Reference(s): 
20. Are the plant’s propagules frequently dispersed via contaminated seed (agriculture or wildflower packets), equipment, vehicles, boats or clothing/shoes?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Wind was the only form of dispersal mentioned.
Reference(s): 
Evaluation Notes
Total PRE Score

  • < 13 : accept (low risk of invasiveness)
  • 13 - 15 : evaluate further
  • > 15 : reject (high risk of invasiveness)

PRE Score: 
18
Number of questions answered: 
20
Screener Confidence (%): 
86.0
PRE Content Access and Privacy
Evaluation visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users

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