Common Blanketflower: Red-Yellow Wildflower

Blanketflower

Gaillardia Aristata, AKA common blanket flower, is a bright, multi-colored, daisy-like native wildflower in the aster family.  It is also sometimes referred to as Indian Blanketflower or Brown Eyed Susan.  A very hardy, striking wildflower that is perfect for a native or low-water use garden.  Not only is it beautiful, but it will attract butterflies and wildlife to your home.  There are several different species of gaillardia, some with only yellow flowers.  The one featured here is “common” blanketflower, although I’d say it looks anything BUT common.

(I spotted this particular family of blanketflower alongside a road in Tuba City, AZ.) 

Other Names

Common Blanketflower

Blanketflower has hairy leaves and stems

Indian Blanketflower
Hopi Blanketflower
Blanketflower
Brown-eyed Susan

Identification

HEIGHT  10-24″
STEMS  hairy, upright, one or more from the base
LEAVES  hairy, entire to coarsely-toothed, lance-shaped, alternate, sometimes pinnately divided
BLOOM  orange-red with yellow tips, usually single, disk-shaped, outer red-brown ray flowers (each “petal” is considered a flower”, inner disk flowers

Season

Perennial
June – September

Habitat

Dry, open areas
Prairies
Meadows
Mountain hillsides
Roadside

Full sun

Dry, well-drained soil

Where blanketflower grows

Where gaillardia grows

Range

Native to western and northern North America (United States & Canada), and parts of South America.
Elevation of 1300 – 9000 feet.

Notes

Drought tolerant and makes great cut flowers.
The sap from the leaves and stems *may* irritate the skin.
Attracts and provides nectar for insects such as bees, butterflies (especially speyeria), and moths.
Blackfeet Native Americans used blanketflower to alleviate stomach ache and sores on horses.
Similar to sunflower seeds, blanketflower’s seeds are edible

Red and yellow wildflower

This wildflower is in the sunflower or aster family

Sources
USDA Guide 1 

USDA Guide 2

Did I miss something?  Please leave a comment below!

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