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Blanket Flowers

An Introduction
Blanket flowers are hard perennial flowers which can be easily established from their seeds and are highly tolerant to drought. They are red in colour with yellow rims, and thrive in full sun, but in well drained areas. The scientific name of such flowers is 'Gaillardia aristata', belonging to the sunflower family of Asteraceae. These flowers first originated in western part of North America, and were named after an 18th-century French magistrate, M. Gaillard de Charentonneau, who was a patron of botany. The blanket flowers grow at a height of 18 to 24 inches, with an ideal soil temperature of 70-75°F. These flowers bloom on sprawling stems, and have a coarse looking textured foliage.

 

How to Grow Blanket Flowers?
Blanket flowers can be grown easily in our gardens. Since they are tolerant to dryness, sow the seeds in areas where they require minimum water. While planting them, it is preferable to add a general purpose fertilizer to these seeds. Sow the seeds indoor at least six weeks before the last frost when the summer is short. The flowers then bloom quickly and beautifully. Once the flowers have fully bloomed, cut off the old flowers with bypass pruners. This method helps in more blooming of the flowers. Apply a very small amount of organic fertilizer to the top of the soil in spring. Mulch around the flower, with 3 inches of organic compost in spring.

 

Uses of Blanket Flowers
Blanket Flowers are one of the most versatile forms of flower used in many diverse areas like:

  • Garden Borders
  • Meadow Gardens
  • Raised Beds
  • Mass Plantings
  • Garden Ornamentals
  • Roadsides
  • Drainage Ditch Slopes
  • Open Fields
  • Mixes
 

Features of Blanket Flower
Belonging to the sunflower family, the blanket flowers resemble yellow ray flowers at their ends, but at their base their colour is seen as reddish to lavender. The disk or the centre of the flower head is tubular in shape, which in its early stage is purple in colour, but when attaining maturity, it becomes densely hairy. The tubular disc of the flowers open on at a time, while petal looking ray flowers can be seen prominently throughout the growing and blooming process.

They take at least 15-45 days to germinate and require a sowing depth of 1/8". They are considered to be one of the most adaptable perennial composites with a vase life of 6-10 days.

 

Hybrids and Species Related to Blanket Flowers
There many related hybrids or species originating from the blanket flowers. Some of these include:

  • Golden Goblin Flowers: These are perennial flowers seen in with red, orange, or yellow colours. Also known as 'Goldkobold', these flowers are low growing, with lighter yellow edges flower extending from summer to fall. They grow at a height of 10 inches and product deep golden ray florets as well as darker yellow disk florets
  • Goblin Flowers: They have spicy red petals tipped in yellow colour. they are ever blooming, compact and easy to grow flowers, whose seeds are 12-15 inches wide. Their stems are also compact and sturdy. They require regular processing to produce flowers in the best possible manner
  • Burgundy Flowers: They are termed as excellent filler flowers, having wine red petals and an average of 12-14 berries per stem. They serve as an attractive filler in bouquets meant for special occasions like wedding. Its other usage includes filler for table centre piece and flower arrangement
  • Lollipop Flowers: They are colourful candy blossoms whose petals and leaves are available in the form of cut coloured papers. Lollipop flowers make an ideal romantic gift for your beloved partner and one can even eat the lollipops after spending the day together.
 
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