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Dalea candida (White prairie clover)
Muller, Thomas L.

Dalea candida

Dalea candida Michx. ex Willd.

White Prairie Clover

Fabaceae (Pea Family)


USDA Symbol: DACA7

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Often occuring in patches, these perennials bear at least 8-10 slender, 1-2 ft. stems and groups of short, narrow leaflets. Tiny, individual flowers cluster around a cylinder-like cone. Several branched stems with smooth, bright green leaves, and dense spikes of white, bilaterally symmetrical flowers. The bright, white flowers start as a ring around the base of the cone and work upward as the season advances.

This species, and others with only five stamens and petals that are all rather similar, were once placed in the genus Petalostemon. White Dalea (D. albiflora), found from Arizona and southwestern New Mexico south to Mexico, resembles White Prairie Clover but has 10 stamens.


From the Image Gallery

36 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Subshrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Size Notes: 1-2'
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AL , AR , AZ , CO , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MN , MO , MS , MT , ND , NE , NH , NM , OK , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , WI , WY
Canada: SK
Native Distribution: Central Canada south, mostly along eastern slopes of Rocky Mountains, to Colorado, New Mexico, western Texas, and Mexico south to Oaxaca; west to Utah and Arizona; and east across Plains states to Illinois and Alabama.
Native Habitat: Two varieties in Texas scattered in sandy, rocky or clayey soil in prairies and open woods from east and southeast Texas to north central Texas, the Plains Country and the Trans-Pecos

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Conditions Comments: Dalea candida is a delicate looking plant with white flowers. This plant is easily grown from seed in situ or transferred as small plants as it develops a deep taproot. It is best planted in a light to medium soil mixture in full sun. This plant is drought tolerant but can accept summer water. It is a larval host plant for the Dogface butterfly.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: No

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees
Special Value to Honey Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Research Literature

Reslit 2888 - The genus Dalea (Fabaceae) in Alabama (2013) Woods, M. and W.S. Hughes

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1990 VOL. 7, NO.4 - Research Update, Wild-Collecting Endangers Natives, Director's Report, Maryland ...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Dalea candida in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Dalea candida in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Dalea candida


Record Modified: 2013-10-24
Research By: DEW, JSC, GDB

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