From Illinois south to Texas and east to NC, the perennial Gaillardia aestivalis grows virtually unnoticed in dry, sandy prairies and roadsides. In the wild, the foliage and flowers are rather sparse, but when brought into cultivation, it becomes a phenomenal garden plant. We collected cuttings from a roadside plant in Bastrop Co., TX in 2003, and the following year, we had 18" tall x 4' wide clumps that flowered perpetually from May until frost. Each clump is adorned with hundreds of 2" flowers composed of yellow pinwheel petals around a red-brown central cone. After the petals fall, the remaining cones are just delightful. Well-drained soils are best.
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