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What is it? Purple Prairie Clover, also known as Dalea purpurea, is a species of perennial flowering plant in the legume family.

Native to where? Native to central North America, Purple Prairie Clover is a relatively common member of the Great Plains and prairie ecosystems.

Hardiness Zone: Plants are hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 8.

What does it look like? It has dense spikes of bright purple, thimble-shaped flowers that attract bumble bees and other pollinating insects. Blooms sit atop woody stems that bear branches with delicate foliage. It grows easily to a height of 8 to 35 inches tall.

Bloom time: It blooms in July and August.

Growth Habit: The deep taproot supports a long-lived plant that is virtually impervious to heat and drought. Excellent in a variety of plantings including rock gardens, sunny perennial borders, native plant gardens or naturalized prairie areas. The mature plant has a large taproot 5.5 to 6.5 feet deep. This plant is adapted to a habitat with periodic wildfires. In some areas, it depends on fire to clear encroaching woody vegetation, as it cannot tolerate shade. 

Growing conditions: It prefers any sunny location with average to dry soils of clay, loam, and sand.

Environmental benefits: It attracts butterflies and is deer resistant. Purple Prairie Clover also adds valuable nitrogen to the soil.


Image Source:

By Eric Hunt - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Purple Prairie Clover

  • Plant Pickup Day is Saturday, May 18 at Nanny Park, corner of 5th Street and Oak Street in Baraboo, from 9 am to 12 pm. 

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