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Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society

Focusing on native plants and conservation in North Idaho

Blanket Flower


Photo: Matt Levin

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristate) is a bold, showy, native wildflower that tolerates drought conditions. Typically, Blanket Flower has fringed rays of bright yellow with red centers. Found in grasslands, woodlands and meadows, it is one of the first plants to regenerate in newly burned and disturbed soil sites.

Blanket Flower is considered deer-resistant due to unpalatable rough-textured stems and leaves on mature plants. However, one deer will always prove the exception to the rule. Plant communities rich in perennial forb species, such as Blanket Flower, may be more resistant to noxious weed invasion.

Blanket Flower is the larval host plant to the colorful flower moths, Schina masoni and Schinia voliaia. Dependent on this single host plant, the adult moth’s camouflage coloring mimics the red and yellow markings of the flower heads, protecting them against predators. A popular choice for a pollinator garden, Blanket Flower provides pollen and nectar to numerous bees and butterflies throughout the growing season.

Well adapted to dry, sunny locations, Blanket Flower requires at least 6 hours of light each day to flower. Deadheading encourages bloom from mid-June until frost. Long lasting in the garden and in a vase, more than 30 hybrid varieties of Blanket Flower have been developed for the floriculture industry.

Check out Idaho's native Blanket Flower in the Young Forest habitat at the North Idaho Native Plant Arboretum. Open to the public, parking for the Arboretum is at 611 S. Ella Ave. or on the street.

Native Plant Notes are created by the Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society. To learn more about KNPS and the North Idaho Native Plant Arboretum, visit Blanket Flower is found on page 133 of the KNPS publication, Landscaping with Native Plants in the Idaho Panhandle, available at local bookstores and the Bonner County History Museum.