The botanical name means "lover of chalk" - as this is the sort of soil the plant likes to grow in. Its popular name, baby's breath, gives an indication of its delicate airy appearance.
Gypsophila has many slender branching stems, each bearing many tiny button-shaped flowers at the end.
The plant is native to Eastern Europe, right across the continent from the Mediterranean to Siberia. It was first grown in the UK in 1759 and is still grown commercially here, as well as in Israel and Holland.
Gypsophila has a chalky white flower, although cream and pale pink varieties are sometimes found.
All year round
It is a relative of the equally well known carnation. Newer varieties of gypsophila such as "Million Stars" (pictured here) are much easier to arrange as they do not become entangled.
Care tipsKeep the water clean and gypsophila will be very long lasting.