Gaillardia is a very colorful genus, comprising just under 30 different species of flowers, which belong to the sunflower family.
You can see the resemblance in their richly-colored blooms, often featuring more than one warm shade in each flower.
Gaillardia At A Glance
Like most plants in the daisy family, these blooms are made up of ray florets, which form the petals, and tiny florets in the middle, forming a central eye.
Gaillardia flowers are grown across the world for their beautiful flowers, either as tender perennials or summer bedding plants in colder climates.
If the weather allows, gaillardias will bloom from summer well into autumn, providing a wealth of color while also attracting plenty of beneficial insects into your garden.
Gaillardia Name Origin
The genus name honors Maître Gaillard de Charentonneau, a French magistrate who lived in the 1700s, and practiced botany in his spare time.
You may also know these flowers as blanket flowers. This common name originates from the way the wild species are able to ‘blanket’ the soil in color.
Some believe that it also refers to the Native American blankets, which are similarly bathed in color.
Gaillardia Flower Meaning
Blanket flowers signify optimism, joy, happiness, and abundance.
Gaillardia plants are often used as part of livestock feed.
In the garden, they are important habitats and food sources for caterpillars, a good nectar source for pollinators, as well as adding plenty of color into any bed or container.
These plants have also been highly hybridized, crossing perennial and annual species to form new cultivars.
Nearly all gaillardia plants sold as ornamentals are a cross between Gaillardia aristata and Gaillardia pulchella, known botanically as Gaillardia x grandiflora.
Blanket Flower Growing Requirements
Depending on the type you choose, gaillardias may be annuals, or tender perennials, which are suitable for USDA zones 2 through to 10.
All bloom in summer, in various hues of purple, yellow, orange, white, and bronze. Warmer tones are the most widespread.
The height these beautiful plants reach depends on the cultivar you go for. Some will grow to a petite 15cm tall, while others can reach 3 feet tall.
Gaillardias like soil with plenty of drainage, and can grow in a range of different soil types, including high levels of sand, or nutrient-poor compost.
One to avoid, however, is heavy clay soil.
They require full sunlight in order to thrive, and don’t require a lot of water or attention from you to bloom at their best.