South Dakota Native Plant Research
Asteraceae: Gaillardia aristata

Asteraceae: Gaillardia aristata


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Common Name



Gaillardia aristata is a perennial herb with 1 to several hairy stems, 30-60 cm tall from a taproot. The weakly petiolate leaves are basal and alternate on the stem, oblong to lanceolate-ovate, 5-15 cm long, up to 2.5 cm wide, with the margins various from entire to toothed to somewhat pinnately lobed. The inflorescence consists of solitary to a few heads on long peduncles with an involucre of 2-3 series of hairy, pointed bracts, 1-2 cm long and with bristly hairs on the receptacle that are longer than the achenes. The ray flowers have 3-parted ligules, yellow with a purplish base and 1-3 cm long. The disk flowers are purple to brownish purple, hairy toward the top, with a style that is exerted from the corolla. The fruit are achenes about 4 mm long and covered with long hairs. Blanketflower blooms from June into August on open plains and prairies of northeastern and western South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Blanketflower makes a beautiful addition to a native prairie garden. The flowers are quite showy and attract bees, butterflies, and other insects. It is a long-lived perennial that can withstand short periods of drought.

Horticulture Notes

Seed collection: The heads become tufts of hairy achenes at maturity in late summer. The seeds should be stored in a cool, dry location.

Germination: The seeds have little dormancy and can be planted in the spring. Fall sowing is also very successful.

Light: Full sun to partial shade.

Soils: Tolerates a wide range of well drained soils. Produces the best blooms in organically rich, moist soil.

Water: Is drought tolerant but does best in mesic to moist condition.

Asteraceae: Gaillardia aristata