Monday, June 15, 2009

The Indian Blanket

The Indian Blanket or Firewheel, is probably my favorite wildflower. Its scientific name is Gaillardia pulchella and it is native to the central U.S.

The photo above was taken near the Canadian River in the eastern part of the Texas Panhandle. We are just coming to the end of its season. It is a great time to gather seeds in order to establish new colonies of them.

According to The Tulsa World, the following is the legend of the Indian Blanket.

"There once lived an old Indian blanket maker," he said, "whose talent for weaving gorgeous blankets was greatly admired among Great Plains Indians. Indians would travel many miles to trade for one of his colorful blankets richly woven in patterns of red and yellow.

"When the old blanket maker realized that his time was short, he began weaving his own burial blanket. When he died his family lovingly wrapped him in the blanket, which was his gift to the Great Spirit.

"The Great Spirit was pleased with the gift, but saddened that only those in the Happy Hunting Grounds would be able to appreciate the blanket maker's colorful creation. He decided, therefore, to give the beautiful gift back to those that the old Indian had left behind.

"The following spring gorgeous wildflowers bearing the same colors and design as the old Indian's blanket appeared in profusion over the blanket maker's grave.

The lovely flowers (Blanket Flowers) quickly spread across the plains for all to enjoy."


Travis Erwin said...

Thanks for this post. I knew the name but not the legend.

i beati said...

good post - same as above comment I like its bright colors throughout and its hardiness..sandy

Barbara Martin said...

Legends are a good way of remembering the past. This was excellent, Chris.