Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database

Gaillardia arista (Blanketflower)



:    Plantae – Plants


:    Tracheobionta – Vascular plants


:    Spermatophyta – Seed plants


:    Magnoliophyta– Flowering plants


:    Magnoliopsida– Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae


:    Asterales


:    Asteraceae– Aster family


:    Gaillardia Foug.– blanketflower


:    Gaillardia aristata Pursh– blanketflower

This is a perennial herb. Erect, simple or widely branching stems 4 to 24 inches tall. The flowering heads are from 1 to 3 inches across. Flower have 10 to 20 ray florets that are red or purplish at the base and yellow toward the 3-lobed tip, or rarely entirely yellow. The disk florets are reddish-purple. After flowering, there are firm bristles on the round receptacle.

Found in waste ground, disturbed sites, fields and roadsides. Prefers dry, open, sandy soils.

State wildflower of Oklahoma.

The Kiowa believed the flowers brought good luck. Some Plateau Indian tribes used this flower to treat wounds and settle fevers. Blackfoot Nation used an infusion of the plant rubbed on nursing mother's sore nipples; a poultice of chewed, powdered roots were applied to skin disorders; an infusion was used as an eyewash; an infusion of roots was taken for gastroenteritis; an infusion was also used as nosedrops. A well used native plant.

From the Robert W. Freskmann Herbarium:

Named after M. Gaillard de Charentonneau, an 18th century French magistrate and patron of botany. The word, aristrata, means bearded, furnished with awns, or bristly.

This plant was introduced to the U.S. and escaped to scatter all over the continent.

However, the USDA PLANTS database makes no mention of this origin. But the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture has the origin as "Native? Native in OR and parts of BC, introduced in SW BC (lower Fraser River)." And the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Database states "Native to U.S.," and "Native Distribution: B.C. to Sask., s. to n. OR (mostly e. of the Cascades), n. UT, CO & KS; also reported in CA"


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