Dalea purpurea

(Purple Prairie Clover)


Dalea purpurea, Lory State Park Larimer Co. 1853


Dalea purpurea, Lory State Park Larimer Co. 1837


Dalea purpurea, Lory State Park Larimer Co. 1846


Dalea purpurea, Lory State Park Larimer Co. 1843

Scientific Name Dalea purpurea USDA PLANTS Symbol DAPU5
Common Name Purple Prairie Clover ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 33534
Family Fabaceae (Pea) SEINet
Click Here
Description Life zones and habitat: Plains and foothills (3500 to 7700 ft.); dry sandy, rocky soils in grasslands.
Plant: Erect to spreading perennial 8 to 32 inches tall; several stems in a clump; stems and leaves can be glandular-hairy or smooth.
Leaves: Alternate compound leaves 1-1/4 to 2 inches long overall with 3 to 5 narrow leaflets per leaf; leaflets are linear, 1/4 to 1-inch long and less than 1/8-inch wide, folded in half or with curled up edges; leaves may be densely packed on the lower part of the stem and more sparse on the upper part.
Inflorescence: Cone- to cylindrical-shaped spikes at branch tips, 3/8 to 2-3/4 inches long; 5-petaled purple flowers densely packed around the cone; protruding orange or yellow-tipped stamens; calyces are very hairy and easily seen in the upper portion of the spike before flowers have bloomed.
Bloom Period: May to August.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, Minnesota Wildflowers and SEINet.
BONAP Distribution Map

Map Color Key
Colorado Status:

© Tom Lebsack 2024

Banner photo: Ten Mile Range and Rhodiola integrifolia (King’s Crown) in Summit County