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Gaillardia - Blanket Flower

By: Kat Krakowski-Macy

Blanket flowers are part of the sunflower family and self seed freely. Wild, typically grow in a dry open meadow, prairie or along roadside in the southwestern. Native Distribution: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI. The Blanket Flower reseeds easily and only requires good drainage. It is used as ornamental with its firework-like looks and it is long blooming. It also has medicinal use, the tea of root is used for gastroenteritis, chewed powdered root is used on skin disorders, nursing mothers have taken baths in this tea to relieve soreness and has also been used for sore eyes. The Blanket Flower attracts many native bees, in particular honey bees and it also attracts butterflies. The flowers produce a dark red honey with a buttery taste. The Blanket Flower is “a larval host to the bordered patch butterfly (Chlosyne lacinia) and the painted schinia moth (Schinia volupia), which feed upon its foliage.”

RESOURCES The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (2019). Gaillardia pulchella, University of Texas at Austin. https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=GAPU The Xerces Society (2016), Gardening for Butterflies: How You Can Attract and Protect Beautiful, Beneficial Insects, Timber Press. https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/51768-Gaillardia- pulchella

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