A SPECIES OF: Blanket Flowers
ALSO KNOWN AS: Firewheel, Rosering Gaillardia, Sundance, Beach Blanket-flower
BOTANICAL NAME: Gaillardia Pulchella
SYMBOLISM: Modesty, charm, happiness, and joy.
DESCRIPTION: The branching stem of gaillardia pulchella is hairy and upright, growing to 2 feet tall. The leaves are alternate, mostly basal, 1.6-3 inches long, with edges smooth to coarsely toothed or lobed. The pinwheel, daisy-like inflorescence are 1.6-2.5 inches in diameter, vividly colored with red, orange, and yellow.
NAME STORY: Indian Blanket: The name comes from a legend about a brave Indian warrior who went to join the war. His wife began to weave blankets for her husband and she weaves red and orange lines on the blankets. Each of its patterns symbolizes her praying to the great gods to always protect her husband's safety. Once again, her daughter was lost in the mountain and she spent the night there. The next morning, she found herself covered with red and orange flowers like a blanket. Since then, these flowers have been called Indian blanket.
Firewheel: The legend has it that it used to be a yellow wildflower and woman would decorate themselves with it. Children would play in the flower bushes. At that time, Cortez brought destruction and death to Aztecs. The bright yellow flowers were stained with blood and turned red. This is also the origin of the name firewheel.
INTERESTING FACTS: It is native to northern Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Sonora, Tamaulipas) and the southern and central United States from Arizona east to Florida and the Carolinas and north as far as Nebraska. It is also naturalized in scattered locations in other parts of the United States as well as in Québec, Ontario, China, South Africa, and parts of South and Central America. The plant generally lives in the sandy plains and deserts of the south of the North American continent. It is common along the roads and prefers sandy soils. It can also grow on vacant lots in urban areas, but generally below 1000 meters above sea level. It is the state wildflower of Oklahoma. The flower has also been introduced to the Penghu Islands in Taiwan, where it is the County Flower of Penghu County. It is called "天人菊" ("Tianren Daisy") in Chinese.