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Gaillardia suavis (Pincushion daisy)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Gaillardia suavis

Gaillardia suavis (A. Gray & Engelm.) Britton & Rusby

Pincushion Daisy, Fragrant Gaillardia, Rayless Gaillardia, Perfumeballs

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Agassizia suavis, Gaillardia trinervata

USDA Symbol: gasu

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Perfumeballs or Rayless Gaillardia is a slender, upright, clumped perennial, to about 30 in. tall, often forming dense stands. Fragrant, solitary flowers are terminal on leafless stalks. Rays are few, yellow to orange or red, very short, and soon falling off. Reddish-brown disc flowers are numerous, forming a rounded, pincushion-like head. Leaves are all basal.

Not as showy as G. pulchella, but what it lacks in color is made up in fragrance. Adequate moisture and removal of mature flower heads will encourage flowering until fall.


From the Image Gallery

21 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 30 inches tall, often shorter.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Pink , Purple , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Ray florets usually absent.


Native Distribution: KS, OK, & TX to Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas in northeastern Mexico
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannas, Woodlands' edge, Opening

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Sandy, calcareous soils. Clay Loam, Clay, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam
Conditions Comments: The ray petals on pincushion daisy are small and inconspicuous, but what the blooms lack in body, they make up for in fragrance. On a warm day, a mass of blooming pincushion daisy exudes a pleasant aroma. The pompom flower heads lend variety to a garden and to flower arrangements.


Use Ornamental: Pocket prairie, Wildflower meadow
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

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


Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Easily grown from seed.
Seed Collection: Collect seed in June.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Adequate moisture and removal of mature flower heads will encourage flowering until fall.

Find Seed or Plants

Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0743 Collected May 4. 1994 in Bexar County by Judith C. Berry

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-693 Collected 2008-07-02 in Blanco County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 765 - McMillen's Texas Gardening: Wildflowers (1998) Howard, D.
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

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

Additional resources

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


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

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