Gaillardia is a favorite one of many wildflowers throughout the United States. It is a member of the Aster family, and is most commonly known as Indian Blanket or Blanket Flower. Individual plants can reach up to 2 feet high. They are heat and drought tolerant and, in Northwest Florida, flower from summer through fall.
The entrance to the Gadsden County Extension Office is flanked on either side by stands of Indian Blankets. Blooms are an array of red, orange, and yellow. While it may be rare to find a flower with the center cone and petals completely yellow or orange, they are evident in our garden. What most people find peculiar is appearance of tubular, trumpet-like, florets on the flower ray.
The striking display of flower color Indian Blanket offers is not its only feature. It is also a source of nectar for many different butterfly species. Stephen Brown, a horticulture agent in Lee County Florida, has an excellent publication on Gaillardia pulchella that lists this plant species’ interesting attributes.