Gaillardia - Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella) Firewheel Indian Blanket Flower Wildflower Flower

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Gaillardia - Blanket Flower ( Gaillardia pulchella) Indian Blanket Flower Wildflower Flower


Height 12 to 24 in

Gaillardia, native to North and South America, was named after Maître Gaillard de Charentonneau, an 18th-century French magistrate and enthusiastic botanist.

Gaillardia pulchella, also known as Fire Wheel, (Indian) Blanket Flower and Sundance, is a native North American wildflower species of short lived perennial (in warmer coastal areas) or an annual ( in colder climates) flowering plants in the Asteraceae family. Gaillardia adds vividly coloured orange, red and gold sunflower-like flowers that look like pinwheels; on the inside the colours bleed into each other.

Flower heads are 1 to 2 in in diameter, and are made up of disc flowers in the centre and ray flowers around the circle. The central disc flowers are red and the outer ray florets are red at the base with yellow tips. Each yellow tip has a count of three teeth. The transition shade between those parts of the ray flower is orange. This colour pattern can create the image of fire.

The plant has a woody base with branched stems that are hairy. The leaves are 4-8 cm long. The life cycle of this flower varies. Their duration can be biennial, annual or perennial. Annual means they live through one whole growing season. Biennials take two years to complete their growing cycle. Then perennials are flowers that regrow every season so they live beyond two years.

Indian blanket flower is useful to humans today as a medicinal remedy for inflammation of the stomach or intestines, it can be made  into a tea from the roots. It has been used to treat skin disorders by grinding the root of the plant into powder or chewing it and then applying it to the skin. The tea can also heal sore eyes or sore nipples for mothers who have been breast feeding.

  • Full sun
  • Grows best in dry, warm areas that have sand, loam or chalky soils
  • Direct sowing is easiest, and is best done after the last frost, or in the autumn in places where winter is mild. 
  • OR start seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before last frost. Transplant seedlings out once daytime temperatures are consistently above 10°C (50°F) and all risk of frost has passed.
  • Germinates: 7 to 20 days
  • Makes an excellent cut flower and great for containers
  • Seed Count: 50