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Plant of the Month: Gomphrena


Gomphrena leontopiodes ‘Balboa’

Latin name: Gomphrena leontopiodes ‘Balboa’

Common name: Globe amarathe 
Flowers: Quarter-sized pink pom-pom shaped flowers
Mature size: 12” tall by 6” wide
Hardiness: Summer annual
Soil: Well-drained 
Exposure: Full sun
Water usage: Medium to low
Sources: Local nurseries or mail order

Gomphrena is one of those pass-along plants that everyone’s grandmother had. Over the years, breeders have improved heat-happy, annual gomphrenas for better growing performance and flower power. ‘Balboa’ adds a new twist to the mix with silver foliage and pom-pom shaped pink flowers. This particular variety is a whole new species to cultivation, and differs noticeably from our commonly grown varieties like ‘All Around Purple’ or ‘Strawberry Fields’.

At only 12 inches tall, Gomphrena ‘Balboa’ is ideal in the front border of your landscape or in combo containers. Allow ‘Balboa’ to be your focal point in any container, and mix it with lime green, green, and some other pinks to allow the pink flower of ‘Balboa’ to stand out. You’ll have the ‘WOW’ container in the neighborhood! Just remember to use plant materials that love the same high-light and low-water conditions in your containers that ‘Balboa’ does.

Plant ‘Balboa’ in full sun, and don’t overwater it once it’s established. Those are the only two things this plant really requires. ‘Balboa’ will grow vigorously and flower heavily all summer long until first frost. Butterflies love it as well! We haven’t seen any pest or disease problems in the trial gardens here at the Dallas Arboretum. You should be able to find Gomphrena ‘Balboa’ in 4-inch or quart-sized containers at your local garden center or online at