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Dalea purpurea

Dalea purpurea
purple prairie clover
Dalea purpurea

Synonym(s) Petalostemon purpureus
Common name purple prairie clover
Family fabaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z3-9)
Flowers purple (mid-summer)
Size 1-2'
Light sun
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil, drought-tolerant
From seed scarify, germinate at room temperature
detailed seed-starting info below
Seed ripenslate September

Slender plants with fine-cut foliage, topped with cheerful purple flowerspikes. Oddly, my AHS plant encyclopedia rates it hardy only in zones 9-11 (so I didn't expect it to come back this year, after growing it from seed last year), but all other information I've found says it's perfectly hardy. And that's fine by me.
The plant is very late to re-emerge in spring. In fact, I usually stop checking by sometime in May, and then notice plants sometime in July, so I don't even know when they do decide to pop their heads up. As a consequence, our main plant still lives in our nursery area, many years after it was first started from seed.

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '02 trade. Dehusked and scarified seed (little shiny tan teardrops). Baggy 70F (68%G, 8-80d). A new flush of germination occurred after a second scarification
  2. Same seed as above. Scarified with sandpaper. Baggy 70F (35%G, 4d)
  3. Seed from '04 garden. These seeds were dark brown and shriveled, didn't seem viable next to the shiny ones from the trade. Yet: No scarification. Baggy 70F (70%G, 4d)
  4. Seed from '07 garden. Baggy 70F (4w) - 35F (30d) - 70F (7w; no G)
  5. Seed from '08 garden. Baggy 70F (18%G, in flushes several days after scarifying with sandpaper)

Scarification is essential. No cold treatment required.

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