Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Purple Prairie Clover, Violet Prairie Clover
Dalea purpurea

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Dalea (DAY-lee-uh) (Info)
Species: purpurea (pur-PUR-ee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Petalostemon mollis
Synonym:Petalostemon purpureus
Synonym:Petalostemon purpureus var. mollis
Synonym:Petalostemum purpureum
Synonym:Dalea purpurea var. purpurea

9 vendors have this plant for sale.

24 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 13 photos.
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No positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral JodyC On Jan 17, 2005, JodyC from Palmyra, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

The flowers attract many kinds of insects, including long-tongued bees, short-tongued bees, wasps, flies, small butterflies, skippers, beetles, and plant bugs. The Plasterer bees Colletes albescens and Colletes robertsonii are oligoleges of this plant.

Other bee visitors include honeybees, bumblebees, Cuckoo bees, Miner bees, Leaf-Cutting bees, Green Metallic bees, and other Halictine bees. The caterpillars of the butterfly Colias cesonia (Southern Dogface) are sometimes found on the leaves, but this species often fails to overwinter successfully in Illinois. Bean Weevils (Acanthoscelides spp.) sometimes infest the seeds, while a treehopper (Vanduzea triguttata) feeds on the foliage.

Purple Prairie Clover is palatable and high in protein, therefore mammalian herbivores of all kinds eat this plant readily. It can be difficult to establish in some areas if there is an abundance of these animals

Neutral Ladyfern On Aug 7, 2003, Ladyfern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is purple prairie clover's second year in my garden and it still isn't doing anything. Maybe it's really slow to grow, or maybe they aren't happy for some reason. So far it's been puny.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Richmond, California
Denver, Colorado
Kankakee, Illinois
Barbourville, Kentucky
Belton, Missouri
Blair, Nebraska
Lincoln, Nebraska
Roswell, New Mexico
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Norman, Oklahoma
Fort Worth, Texas
Lipan, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Santo, Texas
Kalama, Washington

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