Gomphrena decumbens ‘Airy Bachelor Buttons’

A space oddity of a gomphrena, is the Airy Bachelor Buttons. When it grew in my garden, I didn’t know its full name, only that it was a perennial gomphrena in zone 10 with a very lanky habit, that grew vine-like to the top of my pergola, over 8 feet high, and eventually required the support of a trellis. I’ve been a little afraid of growing it again ever since. Haven’t seen it offered in nurseries lately, but spied it on a recent bike ride growing relatively demure and compact among shrubs, spilling onto the sidewalk.


Rather than meekly watching it grow to the top of a pergola again, I can imagine lightly clipping it to spill out of a large, tall container, whose sides it would ring like a ruby-clouded nebula. Something spiky — a phormium, agave, yucca, etc. — would be ideal holding the center. The gomphrena would require similar amounts of sun and water, as in plenty of the first, very little of the second. I may have to go back and beg for some cuttings.


Annie’s Annuals & Perennials sometimes carries this gomphrena, which gives masses of material for cut flowers, both fresh and dried.

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4 Responses to Gomphrena decumbens ‘Airy Bachelor Buttons’

  1. kathy says:

    I had this two years ago Denise, (from Annies) but I didn’t site it well and ended up taking it out. I would try it again in a second if I could figure out the right spot.

  2. Scott says:

    Love these…so light and airy 🙂

  3. Denise says:

    Kathy, I’m ready to try it again too. Just needs a firm hand this time.
    Scott, it’s like a scarlet gypsophila.

  4. Pam/Digging says:

    It’s sold here in Austin as ‘Grapes’ gomphrena, and I’ve grown it for several years. In mild winters it returns in my zone 8b garden, and it doesn’t get nearly as tall as in your frost free region — only about 2-1/2 feet at the most. I do love those airy stems and tiny, button-like flowers.

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