Blanket Flower, Gaillardia x grandiflora, is a hybrid of the perennial Gaillardia (G. aristata) and a 2′ tall annual Gaillardia (Gaillardia pulchella) and is generally short-lived; however, cutting back spent flowers can encourage new growth and blooms. Blanket Flowers are adored in the summer garden, forming over a dense, low mound of light-green leaves, upright stems emerge bearing large daisy-like flowers. The ‘Mesa Peach’ cultivar series were selected for profuse peach flowers adorned with a bright yellow band. Blooming early to late summer, they emerge 2-3 weeks earlier than other Blanket Flower varieties. They thrive in full sun, with average, medium, well-drained soils, and can tolerate rocky or sandy substrates. The flowers are highly attractive to butterflies and pollinators, and the plant is quite drought tolerant once established. Their name comes from the fact they blanketed the North American prairies with their blooms. Gaillardia does not perform well in heavy clay soils or those that remain wet through the winter. Removing faded flowers will encourage constant blooming all summer long. This species is drought tolerant and resistant to deer. Most grow 14-16″ tall with a 20-22″ spread and if kept deadheaded will bloom most of the season. The stems and leaves are densely hairy and the flowers are often bi-colored and daisy-like.