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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Dalea purpurea (Purple prairie clover)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Dalea purpurea

Dalea purpurea Vent.

Purple Prairie Clover

Fabaceae (Pea Family)


USDA Symbol: DAPU5

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

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

17 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Subshrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: 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 Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Drought Tolerance: High
Conditions Comments: Deer resistant


Attracts: Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes

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.


Propagation 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

Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.

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?
view the full question and answer

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
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2016-04-02
Research By: TWC Staff

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