Prairie Clover - Dalea Foliosa
The Prairie Clover is widely regarded for its medicinal properties, bee hosting abilities and adding nitrogen to soil. Dalea is a genus of the flowering legume family and is also referred to as Indigo Bush. There are over 200 species of the prairie clover. Two of the most popular species is the purple prairie clover and the white prairie clover. The purple prairie clover has slender hairless stems that grow around one to two feet tall. They typically grow in clusters and have conical shaped flowers that bloom ½ to 2½ inches upward toward the highest point on the stem. Prairie clovers have compacted stamens around its cone shape with spiky flowers. The taproots of these plants can reach up to 6.5 feet deep and have fibrous roots attached which promotes drought intolerance. It develops best in full sun. Some great areas to plant prairie clovers would be along banks, foothills, prairies and plains. The seeds should be spaced approximately one inch apart A general guideline is to plant at a percentage of 1lb. per 1,000 square feet. Ideal planting regions are the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, West, and Pacific Northwest. Prairie clovers should be planted in dry loam or sandy soil. Many different species of bees will be attracted to the prairie clover and pollinate it. Prairie clovers make nutritious forage for wildlife as it is high in protein. This plant is very beneficial to native grasslands because it promotes nitrogen fixation. The clover is used in variegated seed mixtures for prairie land replenishment and re-vegetation. Parks, rest areas, roadsides and recreational areas would be useful places to use prairie cover for ornamentation.