Dalea purpurea Vent.
Purple Prairie Clover
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
USDA Symbol: DAPU5
Tiny rose-purple flowers in cylindrical, head-like masses at ends of upright wiry stems.
This is one of the most widespread of the perennial Prairie Clovers, identifiable by their cone-like flower heads. An excellent range species, with high protein content, Purple Prairie Clover decreases in abundance with overgrazing. A midwestern white-flowering species, White Prairie Clover (D. candida), has elongated flower heads and is only 2' (60 cm) tall. A white-flowering southeastern coastal plain species, D. albida, has conspicuous green bracts within the heads.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , AZ , CO , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , ND , NE , NM , NY , OH , OK , SD , TN , TX , WI , WY
Canada: AB , MB , ON , SK
Native Distribution: Indiana and w. Tennessee southwest to Arkansas, Texas, and beyond; north to s. Canada.
Native Habitat: Prairies and dry hills.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Drought Tolerance: High
Conditions Comments: Deer resistant
Nectar Source: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial 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.
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Division of this deep-rooted plant can be tricky so propogation by seed is recommended.
Seed Collection: Seeds mature in late summer.
Seed Treatment: Scarify seedcoat with sandpaper.
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Small perennials & grasses for a naturalized lawn
October 26, 2009
I am looking for native perennials and grasses that will grow no more than 8 inches tall that can be used in a naturalized lawn in Michigan. What 5 plants would be your first choice?
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From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX
BibliographyBibref 928 - 100 easy-to-grow native plants for Canadian gardens (2005) Johnson, L.; A. Leyerle
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Dalea purpurea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Dalea purpurea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Dalea purpurea
MetadataRecord Modified: 2016-04-02
Research By: TWC Staff