Gaillardia pulchella: Indian Blanket Flower

photo_kayla-pratt_gaillardia-pulchella.jpg Latin name: Gaillardia pulchella
Common name: Indian Blanket Flower
Flowers: Red and/or yellow flowers 19, June to frost bloom time 12 10 Fruit: Not showy 12
Height & Width: 1’-1.5’ h x 0.5’-1’ w 12
Type: Annual 19
Habit: Groundcover 19
Wetland indicator category**: UPL 17
(SC regions include (1) Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains & (2)  Eastern Mountain Piedmont) 
Texture: Fine 12
Growth rate: Medium 19
Light: Full sun 19
Moisture: Dry-Medium, drought tolerant 12
Soil*: Acidic, slightly acidic, slightly alkaline, alkaline19, sand, loam19
Zones: 2-11 12
Origin: Eastern and south-central United States, Mexico 12
Ecosystem benefits: Attracts birds and butterflies 12
Features: This plant attracts birds and butterflies12, and has attractive red and/or yellow flowers12.

Siting: This plant is good in large garden beds or in containers in full sun12.

Care: Plant crown at soil level18. At planting, water the roots and surrounding area slowly and deeply. Keep soil moist until plant is established, then apply enough water to thoroughly moisten the root zone when the soil is dry or during drought. Modify water recommendations to reflect site drainage and rainfall. Apply 3” of mulch over the planted area. Do not allow mulch to touch the plant stems18.

Pests: : Plants are relatively pest resistant if cultural preferences are met12, root rot can occur during prolonged periods of rain when in poorly draining soil12, watch for thrips and aphids12.

This plant does not appear on the following invasive plant lists on 02/07/2022:
USDA SC Invasive Plant Species
SC Exotic Plant Pest Council

Author: Kayla Pratt

Image source:


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  17. USDA. Plant wetland indicator status. (n/d). Retrieved from
  18. Vincent, E., Environmental horticulturist Clemson University, personal communication.
  19. Clemson Extension. Carolina Yards Plant Database. Retrieved from

*Soil pH is determined using a professional soil test. Contact your Clemson University County Extension service for assistance Click on “local offices”.

**2012 Plant Wetland Indicator categories (quantitative derived)

Plant Wetland Indicator categories
Indicator Code Indicator Status Comment
OBL Obligate Wetland Almost always is a hydrophyte, rarely in uplands
FACW Facultative Wetland Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands
FAC Facultative Commonly occurs as either a hydrophyte or non-hydrophyte
FACU Facultative Upland Occasionally is a hydrophyte but usually occurs in uplands
UPL Obligate Upland Rarely is a hydrophyte, almost always in uplands