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Gaillardia (Blanketflower, Brown-eyed Susan, Common Gaillardia, Great Blanketflower)

Gaillardia aristata

Family:

Aster family - Asteraceae

Native gaillardia, distinct from commercially sold cultivars, thrives in sun and poor soil, providing a splash of color and a hardy, drought-resistant option for gardens.

Meadow or Grassland garden

Meadow / Grassland garden

Rock garden

Rock garden

Xeriscape garden

Xeriscape garden

Pollinator garden

Pollinator garden

Drought tolerant

Drought tolerant

deer resistant

Deer resistant

Details

Emerges 

May, June

Seed collection

Flowers

July, August

yellow flowers

Yellow

red flowers

Red

orange flowers

Orange

August

Lifecycle

Perennial

Lifespan

short-lived

Height

30

-

60

cm

Width

30

-

45

cm

Habit

Forbs

Upright

Upright

Taproot

Taproot

Clumping

Clumping

Herbaceous

Herbaceous

Ecology

Supports

Supports bees

Bees

Supports butterflies and moths

Butterflies & Moths

Providing

Provides pollen source

Pollen source

Provides nectar source

Nectar source

Habitat

Typically found in

prairie

Dry, sandy prairies and stony places, very common in Southern Alberta and in the Rocky Mountains, found in isolated patches on south-facing slopes in the Edmonton area.

In the Garden

Growing Conditions

Moisture

Dry conditions

Dry

Average conditions

Average

Light

Full sun

Full sun

Soil

Average garden soil, Sand, Rocky, Gravel

Propagation

Via

Seeds

Seeds

Self-seeding

Self-seeding

Sowing Recommendations

Direct sow seeds

Direct sow seeds

Sow seeds in pot

Sow seeds in pot

Sow seeds in Fall

Fall planting

Landscape

Use for:

Middle of bed placement

Middle of bed

Single planting

Single planting

Mass planting

Mass planting

Low maintenance gardening

Low maintenance gardening

Growing Tips

  • Prefers sun and poor soil but adaptable to any well-drained garden soil.

  • Forms a small clump when mature, and won't spread, but may self-seed a little.

  • Buy small, young plants, as they have a deep tap-root and don't like to be moved. 

  • Suggested spacing is 45 cm.


Description

Native gaillardia is just as beautiful as its many cultivars, with its lovely yellow and orangey-red flowers, but much hardier. It's also considered to be deer-resistant due to the unpalatable texture of the mature leaves and stems. 

Gaillardia is one of the last plants to emerge in the spring and sometimes it doesn't appear until June, but it quickly makes up for lost time and is flowering by July. 

Native gaillardia is genetically distinct from the commercially sold cultivars. To preserve genetic traits of native populations, avoid cross-pollination (which produces hybrid seeds) by ensuring native plantings are at least 300 m from cultivars. 

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