PURPLE PRAIRIE CLOVER

Dalea purpurea

Purple Prairie Clover, Dalea purpurea  is a native, warm-season, perennial legume that is an excellent, nitrogen-fixing component for restoring prairies. It is easy to grow, eminently adaptable, has hundreds of red violet flowers from midsummer to fall. It also has many strategies to survive harsh conditions.  It can have one to many stems that grow up to 2.5 feet long from a woody, stout taproot that branches near the surface. The plant is drought tolerant and a pollinator favorite — the pollen and nectar attract many kinds of insects. However, this plant is also rich in proteins, so it is eaten by mammals and deer, and can be difficult to establish in areas where these animals are overpopulated. However, this wildflower is irresistible to garden visitors and its long bloom time makes it a great plant for gardens and meadows alike. Intensely red-violet flowers punctuate the stiff, upright stems, adding a nice structural element and its color combines well with yellows, blues and pinks. Daleas are deep-rooted legumes and Purple Prairie Clover in particular adds valuable nitrogen to the soil and helps keep it fertile for neighboring plants. It adapts well to many different soil types and even tolerates clay. Dalea purpurea is a wonderful native alternative to Bachelor’s Buttons in a wildflower planting.

SPECS: Genus: Dalea ; Species: Purpurea; Plant Type: Forb; Life Cycle: Perennial; Sun Exposure: Full Sun; Soil Moisture: Medium Dry, Dry, Well Drained; Height: 1′ — 3′; Spread: 2′; Plant Spacing: 1′ — 2′; Bloom Time: May — September; Bloom Color: Red, Violet; Advantages: Low maintenance, Nitrogen fixer, Pollinator conservation, Pollinators, Showy; Attracts: Beeflies, Beneficial insects, Bumblebees, Butterflies, Carpenter bees, Honey bees, Small black bees, Sweat bees; Tolerant: Adapted to fire, Drought, Dry soils; Plant Community: A plethora of companion plants: Leadplant, little bluestem, thimbleweed, whorled milkweed, sideoats grama, bastard toadflax, flowering spurge, alumroot, round-‐head bushclover, rough blazingstar, hoary and fringed puccoon, prairie dock, prairie dropseed, needle grass, pasque flower, silky aster, prairie smoke and pale purple etc;