[Dalea purpurea] 'Purple Prairie Clover'
Plants will grow from 2.5 to 3.5 feet tall with long heads of flowers that bloom with a column up the heads over a number of weeks in summer. An upright perennial that is native to north central United States. The uniquely shaped inflorescence of lavender-purple flowers are concentrated together into slender cone-like clusters that end the wiry stems. The flowers begin to open from the bottom of the cone, and the flowers bloom progressively and slowly up to the tops in narrow bands. The plants can be in flowers as early as May and as late as late September. This species grows well on slopes, and is useful for mass plantings, roadside plants, and meadow prairie restorations. It is an excellent, high protein, forage for livestock and is showy enough for general gardens and wildflower, native gardens. Very drought tolerant once established and long lived, plants have extensive root system, which along with the tap-root, makes transplanting difficult. Seed germination starts in 14 to 30 days when sown at 65 to 70F. Sowing depth 1/16inch. 293,000 seeds per pound and a seeding rate of 8 lbs. per acre is recommended for forage. Prefers sandy or well-drained soils in full sun but will take some shade.
Native to central USA from Canada to Mexico and west of the Appalachian mountains to the Rockies. Soak seeds in hot water for 24 hours, change the water with fresh hot water every 8 hours. Sow and cover very lightly and use 70 to 85F. Germination is spread out over a few weeks.