[Members of the Sunflower Family with Flower Heads like Sunflowers or Daisies: Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Blanket Flower, Common Gaillardia, Great-flowered Gaillardia

Gaillardia aristata

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.

Blanket Flower, Common Gaillardia, Great-flowered Gaillardia: Gaillardia aristataThe photo at right shows blanket flower as seen along The Dalles Mt. Road to the northeast of The Dalles, OR.........1999.


Characteristics:

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.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it is found between the elevations of 0'-3000' in areas east of approximately Beacon Rock.


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

Close-ups of the flower head and involucral bracts of blanket flower as seen at the Dalles Mt. Ranch in the Columbia Hills State Park, WA........June 3, 2009.

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

Blanket flower as seen at left at the Dalles Mt. Ranch in the Columbia Hills State Park, WA.......June 3, 2009. The photo at right shows a blanket flower in bloom along Eightmile Creek above the waterfall, Columbia Hills State Park........November 18, 2017.

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

Blanket flower still in bloom (left) on slopes above the Crawford Oaks Trailhead, Columbia Hills State Park..........October 12, 2013. Another blanketflower from half a mile east of the previous flower is shown in the photo at right........)ctober 2, 2016.


Blanket Flower, Common Gaillardia, Great-flowered Gaillardia: Gaillardia aristata - The basal leaves of Blanket Flower, Common Gaillardia, Great-flowered Gaillardia: Gaillardia aristata

Blanket flower still in bloom (left) on slopes above Eightmile Creek, Columbia Hills State Park..........October 26, 2014. The basal leaves of blanket flower (right) on slopes above Eightmile Creek, Columbia Hills State Park..........January 15, 2016.

Paul Slichter