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Gaillardia (aristata)

Tara Luna
USDI NPS - Glacier National Park
West Glacier, Montana 59936
(406) 888-7835

Family Scientific Name: Asteraceae
Family Common Name: Sunflower family
Scientific Name: Gaillardia aristata Pursh.
Common Name: Indian Blanket Flower
Species Code: GAIARI
Ecotype: Exposed slope, near Big Drift, 6000 elev., GlacCo., Glacier National Park, MT.
General Distribution: G. aristata is a common cordilleran species; occurring from B.C. and Manitoba south to Oregon, Colorado, and South Dakota.
It grows in grasslands and meadows in the montane zone and is occasionally found near treeline in the mountains. In inhabits rocky or well drained soils.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 160 ml containers
Time To Grow: 5 Months
Target Specifications: Height: 6 to 10 true leaves, 7 cm<br> Caliper: n/a<br> Root System: Firm plug in 160 ml conetainer
Propagule Collection: Seeds are hand collected in late August and early September when achenes separate easily from the receptacle. Seeds are grey to dark brown at maturity. Seeds are collected in paper bags and kept in a well ventilated drying shed prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are cleaned by NRCS; using a hammermill, followed by an office clipper.
Seed Storage is up to 5 years at 3 to 5C in sealed containers.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy. Autumn maturing Asteraceae species may have non deep physiological dormancy which is overcome by dry storage in many cases.
Seeds/Kg: 199,000/kg
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 92%
Pre-Planting Treatments: 30 day cold, moist stratification.
Seeds that have been dry stored for 3 months or more do not require a stratification to overcome dormancy. However, a brief stratification improves germination uniformity.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Greenhouse and Outdoor nursery growing facility.
Sowing Method: Direct Seeding. Seeds are lightly covered with medium or grit.

Growing medium used is 6:1:1 milled sphagnum peat, perlite, and vermiculite with Osmocote controlled release fertilizer (13N:13P2O5:13K2O; 8 to 9 month release rate at 21C) and Micromax fertilizer (12%S, 0.1%B, 0.5%Cu, 12%Fe, 2.5%Mn, 0.05%Mo, 1%Zn) at the rate of 1 gram of Osmocote and 0.20 gram of Micromax per 172 ml conetainer. Conetainers are filled, sown and irrigated thoroughly.
Establishment Phase: Seeds germinate uniformly in 10 to 15 days at 22C. Germination to true leaf stage is 7 to 15 days. Seedlings are thinned at this stage. After seedlings are well established, they must dry down slightly between irrigations.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: There is rapid root and shoot development during the growing season. Plants are fertilized with 20-20-20 liquid NPK fertilizer at 100 ppm weekly until fall. Some plants were flowering 16 weeks following germination.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 8 to 12 weeks
Hardening Phase: Plants are fertilized with 10-20-20 liquid NPK fertilizer at 200 ppm in fall; pots are leached with water, irrigation is gradually reduced through September and October.
Length of Hardening Phase: 2 to 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time To Harvest: 5 months
Harvest Date: July
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: It is important to protect nursery stock from excessive moisture. This species has a slender taproot that is susceptible to root rot.
Gaillardia aristata is a pioneer species on coarse soils in grasslands, open slopes, and talus slides at higher elevations.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, Univ. of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1990.
Seed Germination Theory and Practice, 2nd Edition, Deno, Norman, Penn. State University, publ.1993.
Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.
Seeding Rate Statistics for Native and Introduced Species, National Park Service, Hassell, Wendel, April 1996.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.
Glacier National Park Propagation Records, unpublished.


Luna, Tara; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale; Hosokawa, Joy. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Gaillardia aristata Pursh. plants 160 ml containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/01/20). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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