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Indian Blanket, Indian Blanketflower, Firewheel - Gaillardia pulchella


Family: Asteraceae - Aster family Genus Common Name: Blanketflower Native Status: NativeDicot Annual Biennial Perennial Subshrub Herb
Gaillardia pulchella - Indian Blanket, Indian Blanketflower, Firewheel. There are 12 species of Blanketflower native to the United States, plus a hybrid cultivar (G. xgrandiflora) which has naturalized in several states. At least one species is found in every state, with Gaillardia pulchella being the most widespread of them.

This is a popular species for gardening due the the attractive flowers and hardy nature of the plant, being heat- and drought-tolerant. It is the basis for at least one cultivar. It can flower year round in parts of its range. Native to much of the continential United States, it is an introduced species in Hawaii and Canada. My speculation is that it is likely an introduced plant, perhaps a garden escapee, in Alaska and other parts of its northern range.

Found in:
AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI

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Gaillardia pulchella

Distribution of Gaillardia pulchella in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 25 Jun 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Desoto National Monument, Manatee County, FL Date: 2011-December-21Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
The blossoms of Indian Blanket are up to about 2.5 inches across. The ray flowers are normally yellow at their tips and red at their base, with the red frequently grading from an orange-red near the yellow tips. Rarely the rays flowers may be a solid orange or solid yellow. There may be up to 100 disk flowers which are a brownish-red.
Gaillardia pulchella

Site: Desoto National Monument, Manatee County, FL Date: 2011-December-21Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Click on the photo for a larger image
Gaillardia pulchella

Site: Desoto National Monument, Manatee County, FL Date: 2011-December-21Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Gaillardia pulchella has many usually hairy branching stems, with the plant growing up to around 2 feet tall. The alternate leaves are up to around 3 inches long and an inch wide, and may be entire or somewhat toothed. It can form fairly large, dense colonies.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Gaillardia pulchella

Site: Desoto National Monument, Manatee County, FL Date: 2011-December-21Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The phyllaries and peduncle, which may be up to 8 inches long, are usually hairy.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Gaillardia pulchella

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer