Indian blanket

(Gaillardia pulchella var. pulchella)

Conservation Status
Indian blanket
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N4? - Apparently Secure

SNA - Not applicable


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

UPL - Obligate upland


FACU - Facultative upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

UPL - Obligate upland


Indian blanket is a showy, easily identified, 4 to 24 tall, erect, annual forb that rises from a taproot.

The stems are usually erect, sometimes ascending, and usually branched. They are finely ridged and moderately to densely covered with soft, curled hairs.

The leaves are alternate, linear, oblong, or spoon-shaped, to 4¾ long, and to 1 wide. Lower leaves are on short leaf stalks, middle and upper leaves are stalkless, upper leaves are more or less clasping. The leaf blades may be unlobed or shallowly or deeply lobed (pinnatifid). The upper and lower surfaces are somewhat rough to the touch and are densely covered with short, curled hairs. The margins may be toothed or untoothed and may be wavy.

The inflorescence is a solitary flower head on a 1¼ to 8 long stalk at the end of the stem and branches.

The whorl of bracts at the base of the flower head (involucre) is cup-shaped, 5 16 to long, and 11 16 to 1 in diameter. The bracts of the involucre are narrowly triangular and usually fringed with hairs. They are spreading or bent backward at flowering.

The flower head is 1 to 3 in diameter. There are 8 to 14 ray florets and 40 to 100 or more disk florets. The ray florets are ½ to 13 16 long, narrow at the base, broad in the middle, and 3-lobed at the tip. They are reddish to purplish, rarely yellow, from the base to above the middle, yellow or orange at the tip. The outer (lower) surface of the ray florets is hairy. The disk florets are yellowish to purple or brown.

The fruit is a dry, one-seeded, 1 16 long seed capsule (cypsela).




4 to 24


Flower Color


Reddish to purplish and yellow


Similar Species


Blanket flower (Gaillardia aristata) is a native perennial. The rays have more yellow—at least the outer half of the ray is yellow or yellow tinged with red. The cypselas are twice as long, to 3 16 long.


Dry. Full sun.




May to August


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 7, 28, 29, 30.




Native to Nebraska, Colorado, Montana, Virginia, Florida, and northern Mexico. Introduced.




Uncommon, scattered

  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  


Asteraceae (sunflowers, daisies, asters, and allies)  
  Subfamily Asteroideae  
  Supertribe Helianthodae  
  Tribe Helenieae  
  Subtribe Gaillardiinae  
  Genus Gaillardia (blanketflowers)  

Subordinate Taxa






Gaillardia drummondii

Gaillardia neomexicana

Gaillardia picta

Gaillardia pulchella var. australis

Gaillardia pulchella var. pict

Gaillardia pulchella var. pulchella

Gaillardia villosa


Common Names




Indian blanket

Indian blanket-flower


rosering gaillardia

rose-ring blanket-flower

rose-ring gaillardia













Describing a leaf that wholly or partly surrounds the stem but does not fuse at the base.



A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded seed capsule, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed from the wall of the inferior ovary and also from other tissues derived from the receptacle or hypanthium, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.



A whorl of bracts beneath or surrounding a flower or flower cluster.



Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.



Deeply cut, more than half way to the midrib but not to the midrib, into lobes that are spaced out along the midrib; the lobes do not form separate leaflets.

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Flower Head

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Stem Leaves

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Basal Leaves

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  Blanket Flower
  Blanket Flower  

Copyright DianesDigitals

  Gaillardia pulchella (Blanket-Flower)
Allen Chartier
  Gaillardia pulchella (Blanket-Flower)  

Published on Jul 3, 2013

Gaillardia pulchella: Firewheel, Indian Blanket - Asteraceae (Aster Family)

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.

Happy Independence Day!




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Other Videos
  Gaillardia pulchella Indian Blanket Flower

Published on May 30, 2013

An attractive member of the daisy family. It is very salt tolerant and will take dry conditions.

  PlayMemories. Indian Blanket. Texas wildflowers.

Published on May 12, 2013

Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel, Indian blanket, Indian Blanketflower, or Sundance). Texas wildflowers. Gilleland Creek Trail. May 12, 2013.

Indian blanket is commonly used in roadside & meadow plantings, tolerates heat and dryness.

Oklahoma designated Indian Blanket as the official state wildflower in 1986. Also called firewheel, the Indian blanket flower is a symbol of Oklahoma's scenic beauty as well as the state's Indian heritage. Kiowa considered it good luck.

Sony DSC-HX20V. 20x Optical Zoom.




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