Gaillardia Mesa Peach
This short-lived perennial gaillardia is a tetraploid hybrid resulting from a cross between a 3’ tall perennial gaillardia (G. aristata) and a 2’ tall annual gaillardia (G. pulchella). It arguably inherited its perennial habit from the former and its long flowering period and rapid growth rate from the latter. Typically grows 2-3’ tall on upright stems that are mostly leafless at the top. Features daisy-like flowers (3-4” diameter) in a wide variety of color arrangements, but usually featuring yellow to orange to red rays with maroon to orange banding at the petal bases and dark burgundy center disks. Double-flowered forms and dwarf selections are also available. Blooms late spring to fall. Lance-shaped gray-green leaves (to 3-6” long). Flowers are attractive to butterflies. In areas where goldfinches are present, gardeners should consider leaving some spent flowerheads for the birds. Gaillardia is sometimes commonly called blanket flower in probable reference to the resemblance of its rich and warm flower colors and patterns to blankets woven by Native Americans. However, some authorities suggest that the name blanket flower was originally in reference to the habit of wild species plants to form colonies which blanketed the ground.