Gaillardia aristata Pursh
brown-eyed Susan (common gaillardia)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Werner Eigelsreiter     (Photo ID #7134)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Gaillardia aristata
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial from a slender taproot; stems simple or slightly branched, hairy, 20-70 cm tall.
Basal leaves (if present) entire to coarsely toothed or pinnately cut; stem leaves alternate (or lacking in dwarfed plants), entire to pinnately cut, linear-oblong or the lower oblanceolate, up to 15 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, hairy.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, solitary or few on long stalks; involucres 8-20 mm tall; involucral bracts several, overlapping, loosely hairy and spreading, with long-pointed tips; receptacles with well-developed scales which exceed the achenes; ray flowers yellow, often with purple bases, 6-16, commonly 13, 1-3.5 cm long, tips broad and 3-lobed; disk flowers brownish-purple, rarely yellow, woolly-hairy at the top.
Achenes 3-4 mm long, faintly ribbed, densely hairy; pappus of 6-10 long-pointed, white scales.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Gaillardia aristata

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
812 250 1968
Slope Gradient (%)
22 0 90

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

205 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 0 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

BG(84), ESSF(12), ICH(4), IDF(180), MS(6), PP(154), SBS(1)

Habitat and Range

Dry grasslands and shrublands in the lowland, steppe and lower montane zones, also on moist sand bars (lowland zone); common in SC and SE BC, introduced in SW BC (lower Fraser Valley); E to MB and S to CO, UT and N OR.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia