Blanketflower (Gaillardia aristata)

This plant isn’t shy about colors. Sunny yellow and blazing red, go for it! It’s also a very tough customer. Three years ago, the Chavez Park Conservancy led a group of UC Berkeley student volunteers in planting wildflowers on a strip along the southeast corner of the park. See coverage here. We had a nice display of blooms the following spring. Then the weeds and grasses started to take over. Then came the mowers to decapitate what was left. Now, close to three years later, there’s only one survivor: this one. We would never have guessed it. No fewer than six clusters of this colorful flower are up and shining in the early September heat wave. No fertilizer, no water, no matter. This flower is amazing. It’s native to California and much of the rest of North America. It’s said to be popular in the nursery trade. I can see why.

Blanketflower (Gaillardia aristata)

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