Friday, July 2, 2010

Purple Prairie Clover

Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea)This plant was previously known as Petalostemum purpureum but now it is Dalea purpurea. Confusing as that might be, the plant itself is rather simple looking until it flowers. Slender and V-shaped in growth, it has a very delicate appearance. The flowers open in a spiral along the cylindrical cone and are a stunning shade of purple. There is also a white variety. Prairie clovers are often hard to establish because the plant is so highly palatable. Here at Habitat Home, they are growing in amongst some prairie dropseed, so perhaps the rabbits and deer do not like to venture in amongst the grasses to eat them. Purple prairie clover is also an important plant because it fixes nitrogen in the soil.

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