top of page

Purple Prairie Clover

Dalea Purpurea

Purple Prairie Clover

General Information

Purple Prairie Clover is an easy-to-grow, upright herbaceous perennial.

Purple Prairie Clover is typically found in Midwest prairies and is adapted to areas with periodic fire. It’s thick, deep taproot makes it well adapted to drought. It is adaptable to many soil types but will not do well on wet sites.

Purple Prairie Clover has showy cone-shaped spikes with tiny purple flowers. Flowers open from the bottom to the top between July and September.

Purple Prairie Clover is not a not a true clover, but rather a legume with a long taproot. As such it is a nitrogen-fixing plant. Leaves can be used for making tea and medicines, and the roots can be chewed.

Plant Information

Plant Type:

Herbaceous perennial

Sun Preference:

Full Sun * Part Sun

Soil Moisture Preference:

Medium * Medium-Dry * Dry

Plant Height:

1 to 2 feet

Plant Width:

1 to 2 feet

Plant Spacing:

1.5 to 2 feet

Flower Color:


Flower timing:

July to September

Culture Information:

The best locations to plant Purple Prairie Clover include meadows, naturalized areas, drought tolerant gardens, pollinator gardens, rock gardens, native plant gardens, or prairies.

When first planted, Purple Prairie Clover should be watered weekly for first few months, unless at least an inch of rain has been received in the last week to help it get established. After it becomes established, Purple Prairie Clover needs no watering, as it tolerates drought.

As with most perennials, Purple Prairie Clover can be cut to the ground after the first freeze or left until late winter.


Dry Soil

Pests & Disease:

Purple Prairie Clover has no serious insect problems.

Purple Prairie Clover has no serious disease problems.

Wildlife Use:

Pollinators: Purple Prairie Clover is a good nectar source for many pollinators. It is a larval host plant for Dogface Sulphur (Colias cesonia).

Birds: N/A.

Mammals: As a legume, herbivores such as deer, will graze on Purple Prairie Clover.

Other: N/A.

Native to:

More Information:
NC State Plant Database:
Missouri Botanical Garden:
TN-KY Plant Atlas

Other Link:

bottom of page