western white prairie clover

(Dalea candida var. oligophylla)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

western white prairie clover

NatureServe

N4N5 - Apparently Secure to Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

Special Concern

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Habitat

Dry. Prairies, meadows. Full sun.

Flowering

July to July

     
Flower Color

White

     
Height

1 to 3

     

Identification

This is a 1 to 3 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on one to several stems from a taproot that can extend up to 5 into the ground.

The stems light green, slender, widely spreading, straight, unbranched or sparsely branched toward the top, hairless, and ridged.

The leaves are alternate, ¾ to 2½ long, on short stalks. They are divided into 5 to 9 leaflets, usually 7, always an odd number. The leaflets are pale green, untoothed, and hairless. They are to 1 long, less than ¼ wide, and inversely lance-shaped with the attachment at the narrow end. The end leaflet is longer than the lateral leaflets. The tips are rounded with a short, sharp, abrupt point. There are minute glandular dots on the lower surface.

The inflorescence is dense, cylinder-shaped spikes of flowers at the end of each stem.

The spike is more than twice as long as it is wide, to 2 long, and about wide. The flowers at the base of the spike bloom first, forming a white ring. As the season progresses the ring moves up the spike or expands to encompass the entire spike.

The flowers are about ¼ long and about ¼ wide, numerous, white, and fragrant. There have 5 white, long-clawed petals. The petals do not form the typical banner, wings and keel of most plants in the Pea family. Instead, there is a banner petal and four petals fused with the 5 stamen bases into a floral tube.

The fruit is an oval pod about long with 1 seed.

 
Similar
Species

Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea var. purpurea) leaves are darker green, shorter, and narrower. They are seldom over ¾ long and are less than wide. The leaf margins are rolled inward toward the upper side. The flowers are purple.

White prairie clover (Dalea candida var. candida) stems are less widely spreading, more erect. The leaflets are longer, up to 1 long.


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

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Fabaceae (pea)

 

Subfamily:

Faboideae (Papilionoideae)

 

Tribe:

Amorpheae

 
Parent

white prairie clover (Dalea candida)

 
Synonyms

Dalea occidentalis

Dalea oligophylla

Kuhnistera candida var. diffusa

Kuhnistera candida var. occidentalis

Kuhnistera occidentalis

Kuhnistera oligophylla

Petalostemon candidum var. occidentalis

Petalostemon candidum var. oligophyllus

 

Petalostemon candidus var. oligophyllus

Petalostemon gracile var. oligophyllum

Petalostemon occidentale

Petalostemon occidentalis

Petalostemon oligophyllum

Petalostemon oligophyllus

Petalostemon sonorae

Petalostemon truncatus

 
Common
Names

western white prairie clover

western white prairie-clover

white dalea

white prairie clover

white prairieclover

white prairie-clover


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Claw

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

       

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About

Native perennial herb, stems usually less than 50 cm and arising from a simple 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).

 
     

 

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