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The "Indian Blanket" was approved as Oklahoma’s official state wildflower in 1986. The lovely red flowers with yellow tipped petals bloom along Oklahoma’s roadsides from May to August.
LEGEND OF THE INDIAN BLANKET MAKER
The legend tells of an old Indian blanket maker whose talent for weaving produced such beautiful blankets that other Indians would travel many miles to trade for one. The old blanket maker had never taken an apprentice and when he realized that he had only a short time left, he began weaving his own burial blanket. It blended his favorite browns, reds and yellows into the beautiful patterns for which he was so famous.
In time, the old man died and his family dutifully wrapped him in this blanket, which was to be his gift to the Great Spirit when they met. The Great Spirit was very pleased because of the beauty of the gift, but also saddened, because He realized that only those in the Happy Hunting Ground would be able to appreciate the old blanket maker’s beautiful creation. So, He decided that He would give this gift back to those that the old Indian had left behind.
The spring following the old man’s death, wildflowers of the colors and design of the old Indian’s blanket appeared in profusion upon his grave ... to bloom and spread forever.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
PLANTING INSTRUCTIONS FOR INDIAN BLANKET
This hardy upright annual prefers sun and will tolerate drought well in various soils. Blooming in May with sporadic reblooms all summer, it reaches 1 to 2 feet in height. Seeds should be planted in the fall (September through November). For those of you attempting to grow wildflowers at home for the first time, planting instructions are provided below to assure you the best possible results.
Where to Plant
How to Plant
On bare soil areas:
On existing grass:
Note: DO NOT plant your wildflowers in grasses that grow during the winter (e.g., annual rye grass, fescue grass), as winter grasses will be too aggressive to allow the wildflowers to become established.
Do I water the seed?
If there was no rainfall after planting, watering will be necessary for germination and seedling establishment. Wildflowers will survive long dry periods, but will not flower as often.
When will seeds germinate?
The seeds will show signs of germination approximately 20 days after planting. Regardless of planting location, to germinate, your wildflowers will require at least eight hours of sunlight per day, minimum foot traffic and some water, if rainfall is not substantial.
How do I allow wildflowers to reseed?
Following the full bloom of late May or June, allow several weeks for the seed to mature. The vegetation will look brown. After this delay, the area can be mowed, as nature has already reseeded for next year. Seeds also can be harvested for planting in a second location.