Sometimes referred to as "Firewheel," Indian Blanket is one of the showiest wildflowers around. A super-easy annual that grows one to two feet in height, it blooms from May to July and sometimes later, and appears just as the Texas Bluebonnets are finishing. We suggest that you find a sunny corner in the yard to plant Indian Blanket. You can plant the seeds in the late Fall or very early Spring, and there is no need to till before planting - just scalp the grass and rake the area, so that the seeds make good soil contact. When the blooms are spent and seeds are mature, simply mow down the plants - and don't be surprised if you get another group of plants in the Fall! As long as you allow the seeds to mature before you mow, you will continue to have a beautiful show of blooms each Spring.
The Natives are Friendly
Across most of Texas and Oklahoma, even if we are not blessed with a dazzling display of bluebonnets, we are usually given fields that look like they are covered in a red woven blanket. This flower is commonly referred to as Indian Blanket. There are several Native American tales concerning the origins of the flower told in Legends & Lore of Texas Wildflowers, by Elizabeth Silverthorne. Such legends and lore hint at the value given to natural beauty by people that lived with the earth. It has several other common names such as fire wheel, sundance, and blanket flower. Native Americans also used the dried flowers for medicinal teas treating a wide variety of ailments. Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella) is an annual native throughout the central U.S. and is one of the easiest wildflowers to grow. It is rarely eaten by deer and prefers a hot dry climate in full sun. Indian blanket grows in mounds ranging from 12 to 24 in. and with a spread of about 12 in. This native will bloom with a daisy like flower from April to frost and will sport different color variations depending on the environment and soils. The colors can range from coral with yellow scallops, peach with yellow scallops, coral with peach scallops, and red with white scallops. It can still be sown Aug/Sept through February/March to provide for your own spring blanket. Gaillardia is the official flower of the state of Oklahoma.