Friday, March 28, 2014

Firewheel Blanketflower

On 19 February a few patches of Firewheel Blanketflower—our first 2014 wildflower—greeted Erika and me as strolled along the Rockport, Texas, beach. Gaillardia pulchella, also known as Indian Blanket, are supposed to flower in May and June, but are often escapees from gardens. They are commonly used in roadside plantings. Several cultivated varieties exist. The flowers attract butterflies and are important for native bees.

A tea from the root was used by Native Americans for gastroenteritis and a chewed root powder was applied to skin disorders. Teas were used for sore eyes and nursing mothers’ nipples. The Kiowa thought this flower brings good luck (http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=GAPU).

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