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Gaillardia aristata (Common gaillardia)
Cressler, Alan

Gaillardia aristata

Gaillardia aristata Pursh

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

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: gaar

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Great blanket-flower is an erect, 2-4 ft. plant, with clasping, dandelion-like leaves. The inch-long petals have yellow, 3-toothed tips and dark red bases. These surround disc flowers which are the same color as the base of the petals. Tufts of hairs project from the seed-like fruits and the entire plant is covered with fuzzy hairs.


From the Image Gallery

30 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AZ , CA , CO , CT , ID , IL , MA , MI , MN , MT , ND , NH , NM , NY , OR , SD , UT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NT , SK
Native Distribution: B.C. to Sask., s. to n. OR (mostly e. of the Cascades), n. UT, CO & KS; also reported in CA
Native Habitat: Plains; prairies; meadows

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Well-drained, infertile soil.


Warning: The plant's fuzzy hairs can cause a skin irritation in some susceptible people.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Propagated by seed, root division or separation of offsets. Plant untreated seed in spring or fall. Germination is extremely variable. Plants may flower by the end of the first season. Make root divisions in early spring, dividing the tap root vertica
Seed Treatment: Seed treatment does not improve germination.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1990 VOL. 7, NO.4 - Research Update, Wild-Collecting Endangers Natives, Director's Report, Maryland ...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Gaillardia aristata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Gaillardia aristata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Gaillardia aristata


Record Modified: 2022-12-27
Research By: TWC Staff

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