Purple Prairie-clover

Purple Prairie-clover
Kristen Hase

Purple Prairie-clover
Dalea purpurea


Family Bean
Longevity Perennial
Height 1 - 2 feet

Bloom Period

March April May June July August September October
  • Description:   Many slender, upright stems grow from a single base. Leaves are -1 inches long with five gland-dotted, narrow leaflets. Tiny, reddish-purple flowers open on a dense, cylindrical head.
  • Comments: This native legume is high in protein content and is eaten by domestic and wild grazers. Prairie-clover will decrease on heavily-grazed native pastures. The flowers attract many insects including wasps, flies, beetles, skippers, green metallic bees, leaf-cutting bees and bumble bees. Purple Prairie-clover is host to a type of bee that requires the pollen of this species only, in order to develop properly. Like other legumes, prairie-clovers add nitrogen to the soil. Purple Prairie-clover is found throughout Kansas on rocky, open prairies. White Prairie-clover is a similar species with white flowers and somewhat larger leaves.




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The Meadow
Text: Iralee Barnard
Design: Jim Mason