Blanket Flower (Gaillardia) - #1
Habit: unbranched stems grow from elongated, toothed, simple basal leaves, forming a small clump. Stem leaves are smaller and have entire to deeply lobed margins. Entire plant covered in small bristly hairs. Inflorescence appears to be one large flower, but is actually a composition of 6-16 ray flowers each with one large ligule (petal like part of ray flowers) that is 3 lobed, yellow and red near the base surrounding a semi spherical dense cluster of brownish-red disk flowers. Fruit is an achene with pointy scales. Blooms between May and September.
Ecology: native to North America in dry meadows, open prairies, coniferous forests, and grasslands at elevations up to 6800 ft (2000 m).
Growing Conditions: full sun, will tolerate light shade, in well-drained dry to semi moist soil, drought tolerant once established.
Gaillardia aristata seeds are a favorite treat to some bird species.