Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture

Gaillardia aestivalis var winkleri 'Texas Firewheel'
Texas white firewheel was one of the first rare plants to fall under the rescue, research and reintroduction program of the SFA Mast Arboretum and Pineywoods Native Plant Center.  Gaillardia aestivalis is yellow-flowered while var. winklerii is generally white with a yellow center. While white flowers with yellow centers are the most commonly encountered, it’s apparent that under cultivation there’s a wide range of flower diversity available, with flowers sporting light to dark lavenders to purple rays, with yellow to and varying colors of dark centers.

Gaillardia aestivalis var winkleri 'Grape Sensation'
‘Grape Sensation’ is a pure purple seed strain derived from an endemic Texas wildflower: Winkler’s White Fireweel. The species is currently only found in one county in deep East Texas and is considered endangered on a global level. Winkler’s Firewheel is a tough, drought hardy perennial. Native to deep sandy soils of long leaf pine savannahs, this gaillardia is perfectly at home in drier situations.  Typical flowers have yellow centers and white rays, but color variations including purple and pink exist in the centers as well as rays. Seedlings grown in cultivated settings tend to show more variation in colors.