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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - January 21, 2010

From: Falcon, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Planting Clover in Falcon, CO
Answered by: Amy Johnson

QUESTION:

What is the best clover to plant here on the front range? It must be durable, able to survive harsh climate and changing conditions and thrive on little rain.

ANSWER:

There are a few types of clover native to Colorado, though they may not look like what you typically think of as clover - they are a bit taller than the well-known three- and four-leaf variety.  If what you are looking for is a plant that returns nitrogen to the soil as clovers are known to do, you will want to stay in the Fabaceae (or legume) family. The following selections fit all the previous qualifcations and also tolerate dry conditions, but keep in mind that when you first plant any plant, it will need supplemental water from a drip system or other source for at least the first year while it establishes its root system, sometimes even in the winter when it gets dry and warmer between cold fronts.  Dalea aurea (Golden prairie clover)Dalea candida (White prairie clover), Dalea multiflora (Roundhead prairie clover), Dalea purpurea (Purple prairie clover), Dalea villosa var. villosa (Silky prairie clover)

 


Dalea aurea

Dalea candida

Dalea multiflora

Dalea purpurea

Dalea purpurea var. purpurea

 

 

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