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Gaillardia pulchella is often confused with:
Gaillardia aestivalis Form, Wake Co. NC
Gaillardia x grandiflora Form of 'Goblin'
Native alternative(s) for Gaillardia pulchella:
Gaillardia aestivalis Form, Wake Co. NC
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Chrysopsis mariana Chrysopsis mariana
Rudbeckia hirta Composite head detail
Verbena canadensis Verbena canadensis

Annual Gaillardia Gaillardia pulchella

Previously known as:

  • Gaillardia bicolor var. drummondii
  • Gaillardia neomexicana
  • Gaillardia pulchella var. drummondii
  • Gaillardia villosa
Phonetic Spelling
gay-LAR-dee-uh pul-CHEL-uh
Description

Indian blanket flower is an erect annual or perennial in the Asteraceae (daisy) family.  The showy bicolored disc flowers have bold colors similar to those utilized by Native Americans in weaving blankets, hence the common name. Another meaning of the common name could be derived from the way the plant grows "blanketing" the ground.  The genus name Gaillardia is in honor of 18th century French botanist Gaillard de Charentonneau.  The species name pulchella means summer. These flowers are prolific on the barrier islands and will grow in the soft sand along beach walkways.  They are now thoroughly naturalized from North Carolina to Florida, with North Carolina being its northern limit.

Prefers full sun though it tolerates light shade and is tolerant of most garden soils as long as they drain well and get even moisture.  Plant seed in the fall by direct sowing and lightly raking in.  Provide constant moisture for good germination and they will grow 1 and half to 2 feet tall and about 1 foot wide. They are highly drought, heat, and salt tolerant. 

The show stopping orange and red flowers appear from summer to fall adding brightness to the landscape for a long season and the nectar attracts butterflies.  If the seed heads are left over winter they will be enjoyed by songbirds. 

Indian blanket flower grows well in containers, or mass plant it for some amazing warm colors in your landscape.  They work well in borders, in a cutting garden, or in a children's garden.  Tuck it between small spaces in a rock or cottage garden, or let it naturalize in a meadow.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Erect herb with terminal, solitary heads
  • Enlarged, tubular flowers, red with yellow apices

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems but watch for aphids and thrips.  Indian Blanket Flower will not survive in water-logged soils.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Mixed Perennial Border
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#heat tolerant#annuals#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#nectar plant#salt tolerant#low maintenance#fall interest#cottage garden#mass planting#food source wildlife#fast growing#long-lasting flowers#summer flowers#daisy-like#naturalizes#rock garden#border planting#self-seeding#cutting garden#wildflower garden#fantz#flowers late spring#flowers mid-summer#food source summer#food source fall#flowers early summer#flowers late summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#piedmont mountains UPL#coastal UPL#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#flowers early fall#Audubon#meadows#container plant#coastal plant#food source winter
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#heat tolerant#annuals#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#nectar plant#salt tolerant#low maintenance#fall interest#cottage garden#mass planting#food source wildlife#fast growing#long-lasting flowers#summer flowers#daisy-like#naturalizes#rock garden#border planting#self-seeding#cutting garden#wildflower garden#fantz#flowers late spring#flowers mid-summer#food source summer#food source fall#flowers early summer#flowers late summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#piedmont mountains UPL#coastal UPL#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#flowers early fall#Audubon#meadows#container plant#coastal plant#food source winter
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Gaillardia
    Species:
    pulchella
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Teas made from the plant helped gastro-instestinal problems, skin disorders, and bathing in the tea provided pain relief to nursing mothers. The Kiowa people believed the plant brought good luck.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & S. U.S.A. to N. Mexico
    Wildlife Value:
    Nectar from the flowers attracts butterflies, seeds attract goldfinches so consider leaving seed heads after flowering.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 10 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Winter
    Fruit Description:
    Displays from May to January
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long Bloom Season
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Showy long-lasting daisy-like flower heads appear from spring to the first frost. Flowers are orange-red rays with 3-toothed yellow tips 1"-2" across. Disk flowers in the center are purple-brown. A terminal head, solitary on elongate peduncles to 6" long, 1.5-2" diam.; receptable reddish to orangish-red pappus; involucral bracts green. Ray flowers to 3/4", few, red with yellow tips or red; disc flowers numerous, enlarged, tube funnel-shaped, red, lips yellow.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Gray-green oblong to oblanceolate 3" long leaves. Alternate, simple, grayish-green, bluntly acute, attenuate, hirsute, oblong to oblanceolate; lower leaves 4.5-6" long, coarsely toothed to entire, short-petiolate to sessile; upper leaves reduced, 1.5-3" long, coarsely-toothed to entire, sessile, subclasping.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Upright stems have few leaves toward the top
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Heat
    Salt