Dec. 29, 2018

purple prairieclover, Dalea purpurea

Way back when I first became aware of the pea family, they were sweet things in the garden. I soon learned how beautifully alike the flowers looked, with their banners and keels. But then things got even better. Flower variation is fascinating! Purple prairie clover is a terrific example of that variation. These heads approach two inches tall, with flowers that open progressively up their length. Tiny flowers with pollination power in their numbers. Now these too may show up in a garden or prairie planting. Purple prairieclover, originally a central prairie species now occurs in AL, AR, AZ, CO, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY(S), LA, MI(X), MN, MO, MS, MT, ND, NE, NM, NY, OH(X), OK, SD, TN(E), TX, WI, WY, AB, MB, ON, and SK. Ramsey Co MN, 7/9/11.