Dalea greggii Gray
Gregg dalea, Gregg's prairie clover, Trailing indigo bush, Indigo bush
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
Greggs prairie-clover or indigo bush is a 4-9 in., trailing sub-shrub, spreading 2-4 ft. Grown mostly for its silvery, blue-green, delicately compound
leaves, the shrub
is awash with clusters of tiny, pea-shaped purple flowers in spring and early summer.
This plant is a good ground cover for rocky slopes and exposed sites in the Southwest. Grown chiefly for its foliage, but also gets covered with purple blooms in summer. It will tolerate dry conditions well.
The species name “greggii” was named for Josiah Gregg, (1806-1850). He was born in Overton County, Tennessee. In the summer of 1841 and again in the winter of 1841-42 he traveled through Texas, up the Red River valley, and later from Galveston to Austin and by way of Nacogdoches to Arkansas. He took note of Texas geology, trees, prevalent attitudes, and politics. At the same time, Gregg began compiling his travel notes into a readable manuscript. His “Commerce of the Prairies”, which came out in two volumes in 1844, was an immediate success. In 1848 he joined a botanical expedition to western Mexico and California, during which he corresponded with and sent specimens to the eminent botanist George Engelman in St. Louis. Subsequently, the American Botanical Society added the Latin name “greggii” in his honor to twenty-three species of plants. Gregg died on February 25, 1850, as a result of a fall from his horse.
Image Gallery: 7 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Root Type: Tap Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Pubescence:
Tomentose Size Notes:
Normally 4-9 inches tall, but can reach 1-2 feet high. Leaf:
Silvery blue-green Flower:
Flowers 1/2 inch
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
NM , TX Native Distribution:
S.e. Trans-Pecos in TX, southeast in Mexico to Tamaulipas and south as far as Oaxaca. Native Habitat:
In the northern part of its range, rocky, limestone hills in the Chihuahuan Desert; 2000 to 5000 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry Cold Tolerant:
Well-drained, dry granitic, sand, clay, loam, limestone, or gravelly soils with little organic content. Conditions Comments:
As a plant native
to the Chihuahuan Desert region, where rains come in the summer, it will need some irrigation during dry summers, no more than twice a month. It must have good drainage in regions with wet winters, or else it will rot. Rainy autumns, too, may encourage new growth, which can then be damaged by winter freezes. May not survive temperatures below the teens and can take years to recover from such low temperatures.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Great as a groundcover or pot plant for the Southwest, valued mainly for its foliage.
Use Wildlife: Flowers attract bees and butterflies. A larval plant for several butterfly species.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate