Common Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata)
While this plant is widespread and native to much of the western U.S., we still find ourselves taken with the rustic beauty of the flowers when we find them in the grassy hills of the eastern Columbia River gorge around this time of year.
Some informational tidbits about Blanket flowers we’ve found around the web:
- Some believe the common name refers to the flower’s colors resemblance to those of Native American blankets, others to the plant’s ability to “blanket” hillsides.
- The maroon and gold colors of Texas State University were inspired by the colors of gaillardia.
- The plant’s latin name honors Gaillard de Charentonneau, an 18th-century French magistrate who was a patron of botany.
- The plant was used by Plateau Indian tribes as a treatment for wounds and a medicine to reduce fevers.
- The species is commonly cultivated as an ornamental perennial, in many different color variations.