Voracious Variability

Homo sapiens, we all are, but our coloration and shapes are quite different, as can be seen in this photo of the folks who visited Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge (PINWR) on 3/11/2018. On that trip we saw lots of blanket flower (Gaillardia pulchella) on the way to the Viewing Platform — with lots of variation in color and shape, too.

Most striking was the pinkish colored blanket flower, which the other common name firewheel does not fit so well.

Note the differently colored flower in the background of the photo above and check out the contrasting color and leaf shape of the flower below …

Some of the flowers had lots of yellow …

Whatever the color, pollinators are drawn to the nectar and pollen in the tiny flowers in the central disc of flowers in the daisy (Asteraceae) family …

Blanket flower is a very variable annual and is a weed to some people. It is included in my favorite “weed book”, University of Florida’s Weeds of Southern Turfgrasses, which you can order via http://ifasbooks.ifas.ufl.edu/p-150-weeds-of-southern-turfgrasses.aspx