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Short Description: Fuego Indian Blanket is a native, warm season annual or short-lived perennial wildflower that grows 1-3’ in height at maturity. The leaves are slate green and succulent. Indian Blanket grows well on most soil types and in all regions of Texas. It is a prolific bloomer and an important flowering species for pollinators and butterflies in spring, summer, and autumn. Fuego Indian Blanket is especially well-adapted to saline and alkaline soils and along the Gulf Coast, but it also grows well on a variety of other soils. It is extremely drought hardy and blooms throughout the year with adequate soil moisture. Fuego is an excellent choice for roadside beautification, pollinator plantings, native landscaping, xeriscapes, wildlife plantings, right of way revegetation, energy reclamation, and as a component of range and wildlife habitat restoration seed mixes.

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Fuego Indian Blanket was developed by the USDA NRCS Plant Materials Center in Kingsville and the Texas Native Seeds Program at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. It is comprised of three native populations collected from Cameron, Galveston, and Nueces Counties of Texas. Fuego Indian Blanket has had excellent performance on a variety of soil types including saline soils and alkaline. It is highly competitive with common weeds and invasive grasses. Fuego is recommended for use in roadside beautification, pollinator plantings, native landscaping, xeriscapes, wildlife plantings,right of way revegetation, energy reclamation, and as a component of range and wildlife habitat restoration seed mixes.

Indian Blanket is a common native forb or wildflower found throughout Texas and the southwest. Other names for the plant include Blanket Flower, Firewheel, and Gaillardia,   It is a prolific bloomer, and will produce showy red and yellow flowers from early spring through late fall under favorable moisture conditions.  Indian blanket attracts as many as 50 different butterflies and moths, including as a food source for caterpillars of the highly specialized Gaillardia Flower Moth and the Painted Schinia Butterfly, whose wing colors and patterns mimic Indian Blanket petals. Indian blanket is also a frequent nectar plant for the monarch butterfly and a source of pollen for native bees, bumblebees,and honeybees.

In 2005, Mark Simmons, Ph.D., of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center discovered that populations of the invasive species bastard cabbage could be dramatically reduced by overseeding Indian Blanket.  Indian Blanket is also highly competitive with many non-native grasses, including Buffelgrass, Old World bluestems, and Lehmann lovegrass.  It is an excellent choice for projects aimed at increasing native plant diversity in stands of these grasses.

Planting: Rangeland Plantings: Plant in the fall or early spring at a rate of 2-3 lbs. pure live seed (PLS) per acre at ¼ to ½ inch deep. Landscape Plantings: Plant 1-2 lbs. PLS per 1,000 ft2.

Soil: Sand, loamy sand, sandy loam, loam, clay loam, clay

Height: 1-3’

Regions: Texas and adjacent regions

For more information:

Fuego Indian Blanket from USDA NRCS

Indian Blanket to Reduce Bastard Cabbage from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Plants for Pollinators: Blanketflower from Xerces Society