Sunday, December 27, 2009

Indian Blanket

Botanical name: Gaillardia puchella (Compositae)
Other name: Firewheel, Indian Blanketflower, or Sundance

Indian blanket is a short-lived annual flowering plant native to the central United States. The branching stem of this plant is hairy and upright, growing to 60 cm (2 ft) tall. The leaves are alternate, mostly basal, 4–8 cm long, with edges smooth to coarsely toothed or lobed. The pinwheel, daisy-like inflorescences are 4–6 cm diameter, vividly colored with red, orange and yellow. The central disc florets of the flower head tend to be more red-violet, with the outer ray florets being yellow.

How to grow
The plant is easy to grow. It is an excellent cut flower with a vase life from six to ten days. An excellent variety of coastal beach-front property or sand dune reclamation sites. Tip: If you plan on allowing these flowers to propogate, don't mow Indian Blanket until after the leaves turn brown.

Light: Full sun & Hot climate
Soil: Well drained mixed soil
Optimum soil temperature for germination: 70-75F
Germination Time: 2 to 6 weeks
Sowing depth: 1/8"
Blooming period: May-September
USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 10

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