The Fleuroselect Gold Medal for 2010 for innovation in breeding goes to Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Mesa Yellow'. Like the flat-topped mountains (mesas) after which it is named, this first commercial-quality, yellow Gaillardia from seed is a native of the southern United States. In common with the flat peaks, 'Mesa Yellow' has a uniform, regular, even appearance. The variety particularly impressed the Fleuroselect judges with its beauty and abundance of perfect, novel, yellow flowers. Add an excellent garden performance and a long flowering season and 'Mesa Yellow' is a truly worthy winner.
Gaillardia x grandiflora Mesa Yellow is also the recipient of the All-America Selections award for performance in North American trials.
Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Mesa Yellow' is a multifunctional addition to the popular range of first-year flowering perennials and can be used both in the ground and in containers. It tolerates a very wide range of climates, including hot/humid, hot/dry and cool/moist (in well-drained soil). It can be used as a garden perennial to USDA hardiness zone 5 if planted in a well-drained soil.
Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Mesa Yellow' was rated highly by the Fleuroselect judges for its all-round performance. Growers will appreciate the arrival of this first commercial-quality, yellow Gaillardia from seed. The variety fills a container quickly and fits into the category of first-year flowering perennials requiring no vernalisation. The uniform flowering gives the variety an added advantage. For retailers the value lies in the bright yellow flowers which attract attention to the plant and in the pot it appears compact and well-branched forming an excellent display in the garden centres. Consumers will be delighted that the variety is drought-tolerant after the plant has been established. The long flowering season is a definite plus as are the strong stems that do not tip over in the garden.
Gaillardia is a genus of drought-tolerant annual and perennial plants from the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to North America. It was named after M. Gaillard de Charentonneau, an 18th-century French magistrate who was a patron of botany. The common name Blanket Flower refers to the flowers resemblance to brightly patterned blankets made by native Americans and the species is native to the crescent of dry grasslands that stretch from the Prairie Provinces of Canada to Arizona. The native plants form wiry, branched stems with lanceolate to linear basal leaves and bright daisy-like single colour and bi-colour blooms in shades from buff to red to brown. Cultivars have broadened the colour pallet to include a range of hues from peach to apricot to yellow. There are more than two dozen known species of Gaillardia. Most commercially available cultivars have Gaillardia x grandiflora in their genetic background.