Ann. Lyceum Nat. Hist. New York 2: 214. 1827.
Perennials (sometimes flowering first-year, sometimes rhizomatous), (5–) 15–35+ cm. Leaves basal and cauline, mostly restricted to proximal 1/3–1/2; petiolar bases 0–5+ cm; blades mostly oblanceolate to spatulate, 3–6 (–12) cm × 3–18 (–30) mm, margins mostly pinnatifid, distal sometimes toothed or entire (rarely all linear, entire), faces closely strigillose to shaggily villous. Peduncles (4–) 8–25+ cm. Phyllaries 20–30, ovate to lanceolate-attenuate, 7–12+ mm, hispidulous to villous (hairs often jointed). Receptacular setae usually 1–3 mm, rarely wanting. Ray-florets 0 or 5–14; corollas usually uniformly yellow, sometimes proximally and/or abaxially reddish, 10–25+ mm. Disc-florets (30–) 60–100+; corollas usually proximally ochroleucous or yellow and distally purplish, rarely wholly yellow, tubes 0.8–1 mm, throats campanulate to plumply urceolate, 3–4.5 mm, lobes broadly deltate to deltate-ovate, 0.5–1 mm, jointed hairs 0.3+ mm. Cypselae obpyramidal, 1–3 mm, hairs 1–2 mm, inserted at bases and on angles and faces; pappi of 8–11 lanceolate, aristate scales 3–7 mm (scarious bases 1.5–4 × 0.5–1.5 mm). 2n = 34.
Phenology: Flowering Mar–Oct, mostly May–Jul.
Habitat: Clays or sandy soils, often disturbed places, in grasslands, desert scrub-lands, or pinyon woodlands
Elevation: 900–2000 m
Ariz., Colo., Nev., N.Mex., Okla., Tex., Utah, Mexico (Chihuahua), Mexico (Coahuila), Mexico (Durango), Mexico (Sonora)
Some plants, especially from Arizona, included here in Gaillardia pinnatifida, have mostly narrow, undivided leaf blades (mostly 3–8+ mm wide, villous to sparsely strigillose; var. linearis) and intergrade with similar plants called G. multiceps, which have sparsely and minutely hispidulous or glabrate leaf blades.
Plants from Utah with yellow disc corollas and densely gland-dotted leaves, included here in Gaillardia pinnatifida, have been recognized as G. flava.