WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Slender stems to 2-feet tall tipped with flowers sprout from a leafy base in the spring. Clusters of flamboyant red and yellow flowers often form colonies from the previous year’s seeds. Note the shape and amount of red and yellow on the multicolored rays varies greatly.


FLOWERS: April-August, occasionally year round. Red and yellow heads 1–2 inches (2.5–5 cm) diameter, on stems up to 6 inches tall. The 8–14 petal-like ray flowers have varying amounts of red at the base and yellow tips, usually with 3 notches. Disk flowers are reddish-brown. A spherical, bristly seed head to 1-inch diameter (2.5 cm) develops.


LEAVES: A dense basal rosette has linear to spatula-shaped, hairy leaves 1–3 1/2 inches (2.5–9 cm) long, usually with entire margins though sometimes coarsely toothed. Smaller alternate leaves grow on the branching flower stems.


HABITAT: Sunny sandy, gravelly, clay soils, roadsides, disturbed areas; prairies, deserts grasslands and scrub, pinion-juniper woodlands.


ELEVATION: To 7,500 feet in NM.


RANGE: Western and southeastern U.S., naturalized to Atlantic coast; Mexico.


RELATED SPECIES: 4 species in New Mexico. The nearly statewide (not recorded in Luna Co.), Yellow Blanket Flower, G. pinnatifida (see photo), has mostly pinnately lobed basal leaves and is perennial. Cultivars of G. pulchella or hybrids are common in the nursery trade.


NM COUNTIES: Nearly statewide (not reported in Mora Co.) in low- to mid-elevation dry habitats.

FIREWHEEL, INDIAN BLANKET

GAILLARDIA PULCHELLA

Aster Family, Asteraceae
Annual herb

Gaillardia pulchella has linear to spatula-shaped, hairy basal and stem leaves.

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SIMILAR SPECIES

Gaillardia pinnatifidia has dissected  basal and stem leaves with lobes along the midrib.

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