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Setting up a wildlife garden

Plants for butterflies

Plants for bees

Plants for hummingbirds

Plants for birds

Plant map





Gaillardia sp. (Blanketflower)
Gaillardia aristata

Zone: 3 to 9

Soil: Sand to clay

Light: Full sun to part sun

Bloom colour: Yellow and red

Bloom period: All summer

Height: 1 to 3 feet

Moisture: Dry to medium

Attracts: Bees and butterflies

Notes: Gaillardia have large bold flowers that are considered by some to be quite garish. However, if you want to splash your garden landscape with colour and you have well drained soil, then these flowers are for you. They are attractive to bumblebees and sweat bees. Gaillardia pulchella is native to Ontario while Gaillardia aristata is really a flower of the Western half of North America. They grow well in dry, sandy and sunny conditions and are long blooming.

Gaillardia should be treated like a short lived perennial or an annual. In clay, they are likely to die of root rot over the winter, but, they can reseed themselves. The weedy looking leaves are more than made up for by bicoloured flowers that look like they have been genetically engineered for size and colour.

The shorter Gaillardia aristata looks great towards the front of the border and is easily available in commercial nurseries. Gaillardia pulchella is harder to obtain. Gaillardia x grandiflora is a hybrid of these two species and is also fairly short. Gaillardia pulchella is the tallest of the three plants mentioned being up to 4 feet tall.

Blanketflowers have it all: Eye-catching flowers; long blooms; and wildlife appeal. If you have a well drained soil, then surely you can find space for some of these.

Gaillardia aristata
Gaillardia aristata
Gaillardia aristata
Gaillardia pulchella with bumblebee
Gaillardia pulchella with a female Bombus bimaculatus
Gaillardia with Agapostemon virescens
Gaillardia with Agapostemon virescens
Gaillardia with Bombus rufocinctus
Gaiilardia pulchella with Bombus rufocinctus