purple prairie clover

(Dalea purpurea var. purpurea)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

purple prairie clover

NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Common

Habitat

Dry to moderate moisture. Prairies, meadows. Full sun.

Flowering

June to August

     
Flower Color

Pinkish-purple

     
Height

8 to 36

     

Identification

This is a 8 to 36 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on multiple stems from a deep, stout taproot.

The stems are erect, slender, ribbed, and green. They are unbranched below the middle, branched or unbranched above the middle. They may be hairless or sparsely covered with short, matted or tangled, soft, woolly hairs.

The leaves are alternate and short-stalked. They are pinnately divided into usually 5, sometimes 3 or 7, very narrow leaflets. At the base of the leaf stalk there is a pair of leaf-like appendages (stipules). The stipules are linear and about 3 16 long.

The leaflets are linear to linear oblong, 5 16 to 1 long, and about 1 16 wide. They are short-stalked or nearly stalkless. The upper surface is sparsely covered with short, matted or tangled, soft, woolly hairs. The lower surface is dotted with translucent, sunken glands. The margins are untoothed and are rolled inward toward the upper side. The leaflets roll backward when they dry.

The inflorescence is a dense spike of numerous flowers at the end of the stem. The flowers at the bottom of the spike bloom first. The flowers above the bottom bloom in a ring and the spike continues to lengthen as the season progresses. The spike cone-shaped at first, eventually becoming cylinder-shaped and ¾ to 2¾ long. Each flower, except the lowest, is subtended by a short, papery, modified leaf (bract). The bract is inversely egg-shaped, about 3 16 long, and hairy. It tapers to a dark, awl-shaped tip.

The flowers are 3 16 to ¼ long. There are 5 sepals, 5 petals, 5 stamens, and 1 style. The sepals are united at the base into a bell-shaped, long calyx tube then separated into 5 lobes. They are densely covered with silky or woolly hairs. The stamens are fused at their base into a white, long column. The petals are pinkish-purple and are distinctly narrowed at the base (clawed). Like other flowers in the pea family, they are arranged into an upper keel, formed by the fused upper two petals, two lateral wings, and a lower banner. Unlike other pea family flowers, they do not appear butterfly-like. Only the banner is attached at the base of the flower. The wings and keel are attached to the staminal column and appear as staminal appendages. The filaments above the staminal column are about long and are tipped with yellow anthers. The stamens and style protrude beyond the petals. The flowers are not fragrant.

The fruit is a tiny, egg-shaped pod enclosed within the persistent calyx. It contains 1 seed.

 
Similar
Species

White prairie clover (Dalea candida) leaves have 5, 7, or 9 leaflets. The leaflets are much wider, up to ¼ wide. The flowers are white.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Fabaceae (pea)

 

Subfamily:

Faboideae (Papilionoideae)

 

Tribe:

Amorpheae

 
Synonyms

Petalostemon mollis

Petalostemon purpureus

Petalostemon purpureus var. mollis

 
Common
Names

purple prairie clover

purple prairie-clover

purple prairieclover

violet dalea

violet prairie clover

violet prairie-clover

violet prairieclover


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

calyx

The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube.

 

claw

A stalk-like narrowed base of some petals and sepals.

 

filament

On plants: The thread-like stalk of a stamen which supports the anther. On Lepidoptera: One of a pair of long, thin, fleshy extensions extending from the thorax, and sometimes also from the abdomen, of a caterpillar.

 

linear

Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.

 

pinnate

Having the leaflets of a compound leaf arranged on opposite sides of a common stalk.

 

sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

 

stipule

A small, leaf-like, scale-like, glandular, or rarely spiny appendage found at the base of a leaf stalk, usually occurring in pairs and usually dropping soon.

       

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Habitat

  purple prairie clover    
       

Plant

  purple prairie clover   purple prairie clover
       
  purple prairie clover    
       

Tillered Plant

  purple prairie clover    
       

Inflorescence

  purple prairie clover   purple prairie clover
       
  purple prairie clover   purple prairie clover
       
  purple prairie clover   purple prairie clover
       

Leaves

  purple prairie clover    
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Dalea purpurea
Matt Lavin
 
  Dalea purpurea  
 
About

Native perennial herb, stems less than 50 cm and arising several-many from a branched root crown, herbage glandular punctate, pods inconspicuous, concealed inside the small calyx tube and with 1-2 seeds, tolerates the stability of well managed rangeland and sagebrush steppe as well as the disturbance of roadsides, but readily grazed to local extinction (the same is true with the other species of this genus in Montana and vicinity).

 
     
  Petalostemum purpureum PURPLE PRAIRIE CLOVER
Frank Mayfield
 
  Petalostemum purpureum PURPLE PRAIRIE CLOVER  

 

slideshow

     

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Other Videos

 
  Bees
wnerraw's channel
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 19, 2010

flower is Dalea purpurea (purple prairie clover). both honeybees and bumblebees.

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

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