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Gaillardia pulchella
(sold as Plume Series)

Family: Compositae

Common name: BLANKET FLOWER

Native to: Eastern United States, Mexico, South Central United States

Plant

Types: annual, perennial

Forms: clumping, erect

Max height: 1 foot

Max width: 1.5 feet

Flower

red, secondary color present, yellow

Leaf

green

Horticulture

Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly, bee, bird, specific butterfly species

Bird species attracted to plant: chickadee, northern cardinal, nuthatch, titmice

Plant part consumed by birds: seeds

Exposure: light shade, sun

Landscape use: container

Propagates by: seed

flowers in fall

flowers in summer

Soil type: well drained

USDA Zones: zone 7 to 0 f, zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f

Temp. range: 0 to +30 °F

Water: dry, moderate

  • Gaillardia pulchella plume series 626 0095
  • Gaillardia pulchella plume series 626 0096 2
  • Gaillardia pulchella plume series 626 0096 3
  • Gaillardia pulchella plume series 626 0096
  • Gaillardia pulchella plume series 626 0097
  • Gaillardia pulchella plume series 626 0098
  • Gaillardia pulchella plume series 626 0099

Gaillardia, a member of the Compositae family, is called BLANKET FLOWER. There are 26 species, of which Gaillardia aestivalis, aristata, pinnatifida, and x grandiflora are perennials in cultivation. They can be grown in moderate to dry watering conditions.

Gaillardia pulchella, an annual or short-lived perennial, is cultivated. It is native to the Eastern United States, Mexico, South Central United States. BLANKET FLOWER (aka INDIAN BLANKET or FIREWHEEL) can be grown in Zones 7-9, flowers in summer and fall, and grows from seed to nearly 1 foot high to 1 1/2 feet wide. The blossoms are a dark orange with yellow tips on the petals. Overall it is daisy form. The Plume Series offers this plant in solitary colors of yellow or a dark reddish orange. Grow it in sun or light shade.

There are numerous varieties of Gaillardia in cultivation sold by the names Arizona Sun, Fanfare, Burgundy, and Oranges and Lemons. Vendors most often delete the name of the parent plant, others point to the parent plant as either G. aristata, G. grandiflora, or G. pinnatifida.

In any case, this is a charming species that produces abundant flowers over a long growing season and is attractive to birds, bees, and butterflies. Honey bees in particular love this plant. Gaillardia can be grown in containers - you can easily compose a large container using it to fill out the bottom when paired with a taller plant.

In addition to the butterflies that nectar on plants in the Compositae family, Gaillardia appeals to these butterflies:
Agraulis vanillae, Gulf Fritillary
Colias alexandra, Queen Alexandra's sulphur
Pontia protodice, Checkered White
Speyeria hesperis, Northwestern Fritillary

Colias alexandra
Plants for container - flowering annuals

This annual plant is suitable for container gardening. Container plants generally have a smaller root-ball and most thrive with regular watering. Most will perk up if watered when they have drooped a bit.

There are over 300 plants in this category that can be further sorted for shady spots or as attractive to wildlife. Most of these annuals an be grown from seed and prefer being grown in a sunny locale. Nearly 200 entries in this category are plants that appeal to adult butterflies, 75 plants attract bees, and 47 plants attract hummingbirds.

Annual plants suitable for containers can be found in every color imaginable – yellow flowers and white flowers are the most common, but they can also be found in orange, purple, violet, red, pink, and blue. Several of these plants are grown for their cut flowers, some have fragrant flowers, three produce dried flowers, and a few are useful arbor plants. Most of them flower in summer, but annual plants suitable for growing in containers can be found that flower in every season.

Some of these container plants can be grown as perennials in Zone 8, Zone 9, and Zone 10. A small number can be grown as perennials in colder Zones (Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, and Zone 7).

Some of these can be grown as container vegetable garden plants. Please see the "edible annuals for containers" category to see 177 vegetable plants suitable for growing in containers.

Container plants that attract adult butterflies - perennial

This plant is one of 186 perennials suitable to grow in a container that will attract adult butterflies. 38 of these plants attract birds and 67 attract specific butterfly species. They can be found in every height range – from tiny to large – from less than a foot high to over 10 feet tall. 19 of these plants are drought tolerant, more than 80 are available for dry or moderate watering conditions. 29 are deciduous, while 71 are evergreen. Some can grow in Zone 2, while the others grow in Zones 3-11. 178 perennial plants that attract butterflies and can be grown in containers in Zone 9. 77 can be used as cut flowers. They come in any one of the available flower colors.

We have found that, when given a choice, butterflies and bees frequent named species more often than cultivars. You may want to keep this in mind when you select plants for your garden if your goal is to attract and support these insects.

You are free to use any of the above filters to reduce the plant list further.