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     The genus Gaillardia was published in 1788 by French plant physiologist, archaeologist, and naturalist Auguste Denis Fougeroux de Bondaroy to honor French magistrate and naturalist, Antoine René Gaillard de Charentonneau who, with Fougeroux de Bondaroy, was a member of the Académie Royale des Sciences. Fougeroux de Bondaroy eventually became director of the Academy. (Click for more biographical information about Gaillard de Charentonneau.)

Gaillardia aristata
Gaillardia aristata (Blanketflower)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane. Openings. Summer.
Near Yellow Jacket Canyon, June 8, 2006.

This Blanketflower has flowers to three inches in diameter, and very hairy, light green, elongated leaves.  Gaillardia aristata seeds itself readily, re-grows from old root stock, and flowers from June through September making it very nice in flower gardens.

In 1806 Meriwether Lewis collected the first specimens of this species for science on what is now the Lewis and Clark Pass in Montana. The plant was named by Frederick Pursh in his Flora Americae Septentrionalis in 1814.

"Aristata" is Latin for "awn" and refers to the shape of the pappus.

Gaillardia
Gaillardia aristata (Blanketflower)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane. Openings. Summer. June 14, 2004.
Near Yellow Jacket Canyon, June 14, 2004.

Gaillardia pinnatifida
Gaillardia pinnatifida (Cut-leaf Blanketflower)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Desert, semi-desert. Openings. Spring and early summer.
East of Bluff, Utah, May 3, 2007.

The eye-catching combination of burnt red and bright yellow make this an easy flower to spot. This and the above species of Gaillardia spread readily from seed and large areas along roads and in sandy soils can be lined or dotted with their bright flowers. Since  Blanketflowers reproduce so readily, the seeds of several species are often included in western wildflower mixes.  Flower stems of the pictured species are long and lanky and flowers bob and sway in the wind.

Edwin James collected the first specimen of this species for science on the Long Expedition of 1819-1820 and the plant was named by John Torrey in 1827. "Pinnatifida" is Latin for "pinnately lobed leaves", i.e., the leaves are divided into many small leaflets (see below).

Gaillardia pinnatifida
Gaillardia pinnatifida (Cut-leaf Blanketflower)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Desert, semi-desert. Openings. Spring and early summer.
East of Bluff, Utah, May 3, 2007.

Basal and stem leaves are deeply incised, i.e., they are "pinnate".

Gaillardia pinnatifida

Gaillardia pinnatifida

Gaillardia pinnatifida (Cut-leaf Blanketflower)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Desert, semi-desert. Openings. Spring and early summer.
East of Bluff, Utah, May 3, 2007 and Canyons of the Ancients, May 21, 2011.

It is common for Gaillardia pinnatifida outer yellow ray flowers to be three lobed, but even without the ray flowers, the flower head is entrancing.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Gaillardia aristata

Range map for Gaillardia pinnatifida