Gaillardia aristata Pursh

common blanket-flower

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Common blanket-flower is a popular garden perennial native to the western and northwestern North America, but found as an occasional escapee from cultivation in New England. This species was used for a variety of purposes by Native Americans, ranging from waterproofing rawhide bags to treating mumps, tuberculosis and cancer.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
Leaf type
leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
  • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower type in flower heads
the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
Ray flower color
  • blue to purple
  • yellow
Tuft or plume on fruit
there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
Spines on plant
there are spines on the plant
Leaf blade length
50–150 mm
Disk flower number
more than 50
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bract color
    the bracts are not colored or tinged with pink, red or purple
    Bract cycle number
    • there are three or more cycles of bracts
    • there are two main cycles of bracts
    Bract margins
    there are fine hairs along the bract margins
    Bract outer side hair type
    the bracts are hairy, with simple hairs on their outer surface
    Bract outer side hairs
    the bracts are hairy on their outer surfaces
    Bract separation
    the bracts appear completely unconnected to one another on all flower heads
    Bract shape
    the main bracts are lanceolate (widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip)
    Bract spines
    there is just one simple spine at the tip of the bract
    Bract texture
    • the bracts appear thin, flexible and nearly translucent
    • the bracts have a similar texture to a leaf
    Bract tip color
    the tips are a different color from the center of the bract
    Bract tip orientation
    the tips of the bracts curve outwards and downwards from the plant
    Bract tip shape
    the tips of the bracts are acuminate (tapered to a narrow point)
    Bracts
    the bracts in separate cycles are similar or gradually changing from the outer to inner cycles
    Disk flower color
    • blue to purple
    • green to brown
    Disk flower lobe number
    5
    Disk flower number
    more than 50
    Disk flower reproductive parts
    the disk flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    Disk flower shape
    the disk flower is abruptly widened at some point below the lobes
    Disk width
    15–30 mm
    Flower head number
    each flowering stem has only one to three flower heads on it
    Flower head outer flowers
    at the outer edge of the flower head, each flower has a single enlarged lobe or strap
    Flower head platform
    the base has no bristles or papery scales
    Flower head platform surface
    NA
    Flower head position
    • each of the flower heads is separate on its own peduncle (stalk), not clustered in groups
    • some or all the flower heads are grouped in clusters of two or more
    Flower head profile
    the disk is rounded across the top
    Flower head shape
    the flower head is hemispherical (like the bottom half of a sphere)
    Flower type in flower heads
    the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
    Inflorescence branching (Solidago)
    NA
    Inflorescence shape
    NA
    Inflorescence stem
    hairs are present on the stem of the inflorescence
    Number of bracts at flower head base
    24–40
    Ovary cross-section
    the ovary has five or more corners in cross-section
    Ovary hair type
    the ovary has hairs on it, but the hairs have no glands
    Ovary hairs
    the ovary has hairs on it
    Ovary profile
    in profile, the ovary is another shape
    Peduncle hair type
    the hairs on the peduncles are simple (not branched), don’t have glands, and are not woolly
    Peduncle hairs
    the peduncles are hairy
    Peduncle length
    80–200 mm
    Peduncle orientation
    the flower heads are held upright, or slightly angled outwards
    Ray flower color
    • blue to purple
    • yellow
    Ray flower reproductive parts
    • the ray flowers have carpels or stamens, but not both
    • there are neither carpels nor stamens in the ray flowers
    Ray flowers
    • 11-15
    • 16-25
    • 6-10
    Ray length
    10–35 mm
    Reproductive system
    some of the flowers on the plant have only carpels or stamens, while others have both carpels and stamens
    Scale tip
    NA
    Smaller bracts at base of bracts
    there is no smaller, outer cycle of bracts
    Style branch number
    the style has two branches
    Swelling at base of flower head
    the peduncles are not swollen, or only slightly
    Width of flower head base
    9–20 mm
  • Fruits or seeds
    Number of pappus parts
    • 10
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    2.5–6 mm
    Seed hair tuft bases
    NA
    Seed hair tuft color
    NA
    Seed hair tuft details
    NA
    Seed hair tuft length
    5–6 mm
    Seed hair tuft tips
    NA
    Seed hairs uniform
    NA
    Seed tuft scale number
    8
    Seed tuft type
    • the pappus is made of flat scales that are not split or frayed at the tips
    • the pappus is made of stiff, tapering bristles
    Top of disk flower ovary
    NA
    Tuft or plume on fruit
    there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
  • Glands or sap
    Bract resin
    the bracts have resin or resin glands
    Leaf blade glands
    the leaf blades have glandular (translucent) dots or scales
    Ovary glands
    there are no visible glands on the ovary
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant has one or more free-standing stems
    Plant lifespan
    the plant is perennial, it shows evidence of previous year's leaves, stems or stem bases
    Spines on plant
    there are spines on the plant
    Underground organs
    there is a thickened taproot on the plant
  • Leaves
    Final leaf segment length (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Final leaf segment width (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    • the leaf has a distinct petiole
    • the leaf has no petiole
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    Leaf blade edges
    • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade length
    50–150 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is oblong (rectangular but with rounded ends)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is obtuse (bluntly pointed)
    Leaf blade veins
    the leaf blade has one main vein running from the base towards the tip
    Leaf disposition
    • the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    • the lower leaves are larger, toothier, and/or on longer stalks than the upper leaves
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    • the leaves have leaf stalks
    • the leaves have no leaf stalks, but attach directly to the stem
    Leaf type
    leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaflet number
    0
    Specific leaf type
    • the leaf has a row of two or more lobes on each side of the central axis
    • the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem cross-section
    the flowering stem is circular, or with lots of small angles
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Stem internode hair direction
    the hairs point mostly upwards to outwards
    Stem internode hair type
    the hairs on the stem are plain, without glands or branches, and not tangled
    Stem internode hairs
    the stem has hairs between the nodes

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes and no (some introduced)

Sometimes Confused With

Gaillardia pulchella:
rays entirely red-purple or red-purple with a yellow apex and setae-like chaff about equaling to shortly exceeding the mature cypsela bodies (vs. G. aristata, with rays entirely yellow or yellow with a purple base and setae-like chaff evidently exceeding the mature cypsela bodies).

Family

Asteraceae

Genus

Gaillardia

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Gaillardia aristata Pursh E

common blanket-flower. CT, MA, NH. Fields, roadsides, disturbed soil.