Oklahoma State Wildflower

Indian Blanket

Indian Blanket

(Gaillardia pulchella)

Adopted on May 7, 1986.

Indian Blanket, (Gaillardia pulchella,) was adopted on May 7, 1986 as Oklahoma's State Wildflower. Also called firewheel, the Indian blanket flower is a symbol of Oklahoma's scenic beauty as well as the state's Indian heritage. The lovely red flowers with yellow tipped petals bloom along Oklahoma's roadsides from May to August.


The legend tells of an old Indian blanket maker whose talent for weaving produced such beautiful blankets that other Indians would travel many miles to trade for one. The old blanket maker had never taken an apprentice and when he realized that he had only a short time left, he began weaving his own burial blanket. It blended his favorite browns, reds and yellows into the beautiful patterns for which he was so famous.

In time, the old man died and his family dutifully wrapped him in this blanket, which was to be his gift to the Great Spirit when they met. The Great Spirit was very pleased

because of the beauty of the gift, but also saddened, because He realized that only those in the Happy Hunting Ground would be able to appreciate the old blanket maker's beautiful creation. So, He decided that He would give this gift back to those that the old Indian had left behind.

The spring following the old man's death, wildflowers of the colors and design of the old Indian's blanket appeared in profusion upon his grave ... to bloom and spread forever.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Oklahoma State Wildflower: Indian Blanket

Indian Blanket

Indian Blanket is a red flower with yellow tips. It symbolizes Oklahoma's scenic beauty as well as the state's Indian heritage. Indian Blanket flowers bloom in June and July.

Indian Blanket is a flat multi-petaled round flower, 3 to 4 inches across. The petals are two distinctly separated colors: orangey-red toward the center and yellow at the tip, with the yellow being predominant to almost non-existent, as shown in this picture. The plant is a bush type, with stems radiating from a central root system and ranging from 1 to 3 feet in height.

Indian Blanket is heat and drought tolerant, as are many wild flowers. In the wild, its blooming season is normally June until August. In the garden, it will bloom from early summer until the first frost; deadheading is helpful for ensuring a full season of flowers. An individual plant may survive several years, but propagation is accomplished chiefly by self-seeding. It thrives best in full sun and soil which drains well. It can not survive a winter in heavy wet soil.

Oklahoma House Bill 1649

House Bill No. 1649
An Act relating to definitions and general provisions; establishing the official state wild flower; providing for codification; and providing an effective date.

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Oklahoma:

SECTION 1. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 92.1 of Title 25, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

The official state wild flower of the State of Oklahoma shall be the Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella).

SECTION 2. This act shall become effective November 1, 1986.

Oklahoma Law

The law designating the Indian Blanket as the official Oklahoma state wild flower is found in the Oklahoma Statutes, Title 25, Section 25-92.1.

TITLE 25. Definitions and General Provisions.
Chapter 3 - State Emblems and Honorary Positions.
SECTION 25-92.1.

§25-92.1. State wild flower - Indian Blanket.

The official state wild flower of the State of Oklahoma shall be the Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella).

Added by Laws 1986, HB 1649, c. 6, § 1, eff. November 1, 1986.

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Indian Blanket

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
    Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
    Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
    Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales FamilyAsteraceae - Aster family
Genus: Gaillardia Foug. - blanketflower
Species: Gaillardia pulchella Foug. - Indian blanket

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