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Marcus, Joseph A.
Dalea frutescens Gray
Black dalea, Black prairie clover
USDA Symbol: DAFR2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Thornless shrub up to 3 feet tall; stems gray to light brown, leaf bearing twigs thin, reddish brown. Occasional on shallow soil over limestone in unshaded upland situations. Leaves up to 1 inch long, divided into as many as 8 pairs of small leaflets and a terminal one on a central axis, leaflets 5 1/16 inch or less long, gland dotted on the lower surface. Glands visible under a 10x hand lens. Flowers in dense heads or spikes at the ends of branches, small, purple, opening from July to October. Fruit an inconspicuous capsule.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
NM , OK , TX Native Distribution:
S.e. OK, s. & w. to w. TX, NM & n. Mex. Native Habitat:
Dry, scrubby, limestone hills USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Sun Soil Moisture:
Dry Cold Tolerant:
Moist, rich, slightly acid soils. Dry, limestone soils. Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay Conditions Comments:
The fine ferny texture of Black dalea foliage contrasts well with other plants such as Prickly pear and grasses. Use this fast growing, mounding shrub
in any dry garden that calls for both flowers and a defined form. Overwatering and fertilization can cause legginess, weak growth, and reduced flowering. Drought-resistant. Once established, this plant requires little or no maintenance.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Attractive, Blooms ornamental, Easily grown, Planned landscape, Mass planting
Use Wildlife: Rabbits and deer will browse on this plant. Cover, Nectar-bees, Nectar-insects.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Larval Host: Dogface butterfly
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Minimal
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Seed Collection: Collect the pods from summer to early fall when they are no longer green and are beginning to dry. Separate seeds from pods before sowing or storage. Fumigate seeds before storage.
Seed Treatment: Seeds require no pretreatment for germination.
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Mr. Smarty Plants says
Small shrub to plant in Austin Texas
March 11, 2009
I live in Southwest Austin and I am looking for a shrub that I can plant against the back of my house, which faces the north. I want something native, fairly low maintenance and not too large,...
view the full question and answer
Native plants for butterfly garden in Waco, TX
February 03, 2008
Few weeks ago I sent you a letter but never got an answer back.
I would like to have your suggestions of native plants for a butterfly garden (30'x 30') here in Waco. The plants must be (1)drought ...
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Record Modified: 2010-09-09
Research By: GDB