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Dalea candida

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Petalostemum candidum
Description

The scientific name honors Samuel Dale, a 17th-18th century botanist from England, while the translation of candidus refers to the plants' white flowers.

White prairie clover is a perennial plant in the legume family (Fabaceae) native to the Midwest or central United States from Canada to Mexico.  This plant can be found in a variety of habitats such as prairies, foothills, disturbed areas and forests.  Its deep and thick taproot can grow up to 5' deep, making this plant drought tolerant while its self-seeding capabilities will help to form patches of summer blooming plants.  The seeds are disbursed by the wind.

The long taproot provides fertility to the surrounding soil by way of it nitrogen-fixing bacteria.  

Its tiny, showy flowers bloom from bottom to top of the long, cylindrical head.  The heads may grow to 3" long and will take on the form of a dense ruff as it blooms.  The bloom period takes place in mid-summer and can last for up to one month.  

This plant is sometimes confused with White Dalea or D. albiflora, however, White Prairie Clover has 5 stamens while White Dalea has 10.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  No serious disease or insect issues.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#easy to grow#native perennials#herbaceous#deer browsing plant#herbaceous perennial#native garden#naturalizes#self-seeding#naturalized area#sandy soils tolerant#rocky soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#host plant#perennial#butterfly garden#sandy soils#sandy soil#native#birds#spikes
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#easy to grow#native perennials#herbaceous#deer browsing plant#herbaceous perennial#native garden#naturalizes#self-seeding#naturalized area#sandy soils tolerant#rocky soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#host plant#perennial#butterfly garden#sandy soils#sandy soil#native#birds#spikes
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Dalea
    Species:
    candida
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Grows via self seeding in prairies and open woodlands.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    US native
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, AZ, CO, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MN, MO, MS, MT, ND, NE, NH, NM, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, WI, WY
    Wildlife Value:
    The flowers attract bees, butterflies and birds. It serves as a host plant for the Dogface butterfly. Its high protein content provides great forage for both wildlife and livestock.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Easy to Grow
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 9 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Very Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The dry fruits do not split open when ripe.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The white flowers are approximately 1/4" across, have 5 petals and 5 stamens. Blooming begins at the bottom of a spike and continues to bloom in an upward direction.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Linear
    Oblanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The dull green leaves are composed of 5 to 7 narrow leaflets, forming a 2-7" long leaf. The narrow leaflets are less than 1/4" wide and typically 1 1/2" long. Glandular dots can be found on the underside of the leaflets.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    The flowers form at the top of the erect sender, pale green stems. The lower portion of the stem is typically unbranched, while the upper portion can be sparsely branched.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil