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Gaillardia pulchella
Sunflower Family (Asteraceae)

Bloom period April through June. This is also called: Fire Wheel. Gaillardia, or Indian blankets, usually appear in late spring and signal the beginning of summer in many parts of Texas. With their showy, concentric bands of red and yellow blazing across wide expanses of land, they do indeed resemble colorful Indian blankets. Originally a bright gold, the flower was a favorite of the Aztecs. Young women decorated their jet-black hair with crowns of the golden flowers, and young children delighted in playing among the bright blossoms. Then Cortez came, and the lovely land was drenched with the blood of the trusting inhabitants. The much-loved flower in pity caught the blood of the innocents as it fell. And to this day, the red stains remain on the flower. When the tiny butterfly that is the color of the flower is seen flitting around it, the Mexicans say it is the spirit of the Aztecs watching in gratitude their favorite flower

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Additional Photos by Hisam Saker (hisam) Silver Star Critiquer [C: 15 W: 0 N: 3] (90)
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