Firewheel, Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella Foug.)

OK. This is a tough one. At first, when I saw it at a distance, I thought it was (Coreopsis tinctoria) Garden Coreopsis. On closer examination, I noticed the leaves were very different from Garden Coreopsis. This plant had a lot wider leaf. I believe this is either (Gaillardia pulchella Foug) Blanket Flower or (Gaillardia aristata) also known as Blanket Flower. Since Gaillardia aristata is not known in this state, I believe it is Gaillardia pulchella. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

 Asteraceae (Aster Family)

USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.

Firewheel or indian blanket is a popular annual growing 1-2 ft. tall. The hairy stem is usually much-branched and becomes woody at the base late in the season. Branched stems, mostly leafy near the base, have showy flower heads with rays red at base, tipped with yellow, each with 3 teeth at broad end. The well-known flower heads are 1-2 in. across with a red center and a yellow outer band. Occasionally the three-cleft rays are solid orange or yellow. The disk flowers in the center are brownish red.

Frequent along roadsides in the Southwest, these wildflowers stand like hundreds of showy Fourth of July pinwheels at the top of slender stalks. Varieties are popular in cultivation, for they tolerate heat and dryness. Among several species in the Southwest, some flowers are entirely yellow. 

Photographic Location: Sycamore Ridge Ranch in Middle TN.


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