[Members of the Sunflower Family with Flower Heads like Sunflowers or Daisies]

Blanket Flower, Common Gaillardia, Great-flowered Gaillardia

Gaillardia aristata

Blanket Flower, Common Gaillardia, Great-flowered Gaillardia: Gaillardia aristata

The photo above shows a view from above down onto the flower head of blanket flower. Note the incised tips of and faint venation pattern of each ray flower, and the bright reddish ring at the base of the ray flowers around the outside of the central disk. Photographed on Steptoe Butte in eastern Washington...........June 22, 2009.

Blanket Flower, Common Gaillardia, Great-flowered Gaillardia: Gaillardia aristataCharacteristics:

Blanket flower is a pretty wildflower, with one to several stems arising from a slender taproot to 70 cm in height. The herbage is somewhat hairy. The leaves are long and narrow, being oblanceolate to linear-oblong, at the most, 15 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. The margins are variable, ranging from entire, to coarsely serrate or pinnatifid.

The flower heads are solitary to a few per stem. The disk is purple to brownish-purple and commonly 1-5-3.5 cm wide. The 6-16 rays (usually 13) are yellow with purplish bases and range from 1-3.5 cm long. It makes an interesting addition to a naturalized dry garden.


Habitat:

Blanket flower is a plant of open places at low to middle elevations. It is found in dry meadows, prairies, and along roadsides where it may collect some of the runoff from the road surface.


Range:

Blanket flower is found from British Columbia east to Saskatchewan, and south east of the Cascades to northern Oregon and hence east through northern Utah to Colorado and South Dakota.


Blanket Flower, Common Gaillardia, Great-flowered Gaillardia: Gaillardia aristata - Involucral bracts of Blanket Flower, Common Gaillardia, Great-flowered Gaillardia: Gaillardia aristata

Stem of Blanket Flower, Common Gaillardia, Great-flowered Gaillardia: Gaillardia aristata

Close-up details of the flowers and stem of blanket flower as seen in sagebrush uplands along the eastern Banks Lake shoreline near Million Dollar Boat Launch, Grant County, Washington............June 2, 2013.

Involucral bracts

The photo above shows a close-up of the underside of the flower head of blanket flower, including the involucral bracts. Photographed at the same location as above.

Blanket Flower, Common Gaillardia, Great-flowered Gaillardia: Gaillardia aristata - Blanket Flower, Common Gaillardia, Great-flowered Gaillardia: Gaillardia aristata

Blanket flower as seen (left) along the Little Spokane River downstream of the Painted Rocks.........June 19, 2009. The photo at right shows a flowerhead of blanket flower as seen along the trail south of the Knothead Overlook in the Little Spokane River Natural Area...........May 9, 2016.

Flower head of Blanket Flower, Common Gaillardia, Great-flowered Gaillardia: Gaillardia aristata - Blanket Flower, Common Gaillardia, Great-flowered Gaillardia: Gaillardia aristata

Close-up of the flower head of blanket flower as seen at left along the Little Spokane River downstream of the Painted Rocks.........June 19, 2009. Close-up of the flower head of blanket flower as seen at right along the Little Spokane River downstream of the Painted Rocks.........November 8, 2018.

Flower head of Blanket Flower, Common Gaillardia, Great-flowered Gaillardia: Gaillardia aristata

The photo above shows a view from above down onto the flower head of blanket flower. Note the incised tips of and fain venation pattern of each ray flower, and the bright reddish ring of disk flowers around the outside of the central disk. Photographed at the trailhead for the Willard Springs Trail on the Conboy Lake NWR to the southeast of Mt. Adams.........July 28, 2006.

Paul Slichter