Gaillardia is a genus of about 25 species of mostly perennials in the family Asteraceae, native to Americas.
Gaillardia produces beautiful richly colored, daisy-like flowers. Each flower is composed of central disk florets surrounded by the colorful and much showier ray florets. The ray florets are usually flat, but tubular and trumpet shapes are also available. Gaillardias are valuable for their very long season of bloom. They are drought tolerant and easy to maintain. These sun-loving flowers will bloom continuously throughout the summer and fall and will add color and cheer to your garden!
The genus name was given in honor of Antoine René Gaillard de Charentonneau, who lived in the 18th century. He was a member of the French Academy, patron of botany and a plant enthusiast.
The common name “Blanket Flower” comes from the resemblance of the flowers to brightly colored Native American blankets.
Gaillardia represents modesty, charm, happiness and joy.
Interesting facts about Gaillardia:
Most of the Gaillardias seen in our gardens are hybrids. Hybridization between annual and perennial species of Gaillardia had given rise to numerous cultivars.
Almost all commercially grown Gaillardia are a hybrid called “Gaillardia x grandiflora“, which is a cross between “Gaillardia aristata” and “Gaillardia pulchella”. Furthermore, most cultivars have Gaillardia x grandiflora in their genetic background.
Benefits and Uses
Gaillardia can be used as a food source for livestock and farm animals.
Cultivars have double or single flowers in various colors, and many have been developed for ornamental use.
The flowers come in various shades of red, orange, yellow, purple and brown. The bicolor blooms are pretty intense.
Plants belonging to the Gaillardia genus range in height from 15 cm (6 inches) to 90 cm (3 ft).
These plants grow best in moist and well drained soil, with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0. However, they will tolerate drought, heat, poor and sandy soils, but heavy clay soil will probably kill them.