Photographs from Southwest Texas #500- Gaillardia pulchella: Firewheel, Indian blanket, Indian Blanketflower, or Sundance, a short-lived perennial or annual flowering plant native to the central United States.

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A gorgeous find no matter what handle you put on it. These are the same exact bloom only about a little over a week apart  There are just 3-4 of these growing wild in our regular 2 mile walking field. I have always appreciated the beauty, but found it interesting that they retained the beauty while going to seed.

The branching stem of this plant is hairy and upright, growing to 60 cm (2 ft) tall. The leaves are alternate, mostly basal, 4–8 cm long, with edges smooth to coarsely toothed or lobed. The pinwheel, daisy-like inflorescences are 4–6 cm diameter, vividly colored with red, orange and yellow. The central disc florets of the flower head tend to be more red-violet, with the outer ray florets being yellow. In one variation, almost the entire flower is red, with only the barest tips of the pedals touched with yellow. It blooms practically year-round in some areas, but more typically in summer to early fall. The seed is an achene.

It is a hardy plant, not picky about soil, though sandy and well-drained are best. It has a high drought tolerance and does best with a dry, hot climate in full sun. Its vibrant colored flowers can be seen carpeting fields and the sides of highways for miles in the summer to late fall. In the garden, the flowers can be removed/deadheaded to promote further blooming. It self-seeds freely.  Because of its bright colors, it is well adapted in the sun.

“We can see God at work in the little things, like a mustard plant-the equivalent of a weed. People generally expect to see evidence of God in the big stuff-when in reality, according to Jesus, it is knee or ankle level, spreading like a weed. It is in the everydayness, using everyday elements. Whether we see it is up to us. Instead of looking up, we should be looking around or down”…   Dean Nelson from God Hides in Plain Sight ††† en theos jlawrence