On Friday, September 19, the U.S. Botanic Garden's outdoor National Garden will close early at 5 p.m. It will reopen for regularly scheduled hours on Saturday, September 20 at 10 a.m.
Known commonly as Winkler's Gaillardia these plants are found in only one county in eastern Texas. This endangered species is extremely well-adapted to the dry conditions of its native habitat, the sandhills of the East Texas pineywoods, and could prove to be a wonderful garden plant. Development and fire suppression have threatened the survival of this endemic and rare species. Currently there are efforts to protect remaining habitat and to study the effects of periodic controlled burning on threatened plant populations there. Typically, this rare plant has a white flower, but 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. One of the most popular cultivars is 'Grape Sensation' and is a long lived perennial with showy purple flowers from May through frost.