Dalea Species, Purple Prairie Clover, Violet Prairie Clover

Dalea purpurea

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Dalea (DAY-lee-uh) (Info)
Species: purpurea (pur-PUR-ee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Dalea violacea
Synonym:Kuhnistera violacea
Synonym:Petalostemon purpureum
Synonym:Petalostemon violaceum
Synonym:Psoralea purpurea
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone



Bloom Color:


Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

El Sobrante, California

Richmond, California

Denver, Colorado

Kankakee, Illinois

Barbourville, Kentucky

Belton, Missouri

Blair, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska

Roswell, New Mexico

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Norman, Oklahoma

Lititz, Pennsylvania

Fort Worth, Texas

Lipan, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Santo, Texas

Kalama, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 23, 2016, JBtheExplorer from Southeast, WI wrote:

I'm having a hard time with this plant. I started one indoors last Spring, as well as some that I seeded directly into the garden. The ones that I seeded were eaten by rabbits within weeks of emerging. When I planted the one I started indoors, I put a chicken wire cage around it. It was growing well and got to be about 7" tall. I must not have secured the cage well enough, though. About a month later the cage was knocked over and it was eaten right down the to ground. It tried to grow back but didn't. At this point, I had three left that popped up later in the Spring, but they didn't grow taller than three inches by the end of the year. The flowers are amazing. I've seen them in person. If you can get them to grow without being eaten by rabbits, I imagine they are well worth adding to the ... read more


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 mammalia... read more


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.