Dalea gattingeri

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: Gattinger's prairie clover 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Fabaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 6 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Deep purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil

Culture

Easily grown in moderately fertile, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Best in sandy soils. Thrives in limestone glades.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dalea gattingeri, commonly known as Gattinger prairie clover or purpletassels, is an aromatic herbaceous perennial that typically grows as a decumbent plant with sprawling branches spreading to 12-20” wide. It is native to dry, calcareous, rocky limestone glades in parts of the southeastern U.S., primarily in the Cedar Glades area of the Central Basin of Middle Tennessee, with very minor populations located in several counties in northeast Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas and Missouri.

Stems are clad with alternate, pinnate compound leaves (to 3” long), each with 5-7 (infrequently 9) narrow, rolled, 3/4-inch long leaflets. Tiny deep purple flowers (each to 1/2” across) are borne in cylindrical bottlebrush-like flower spikes (to 1-3” long). Flowering progresses bottom to top, primarily from late June to September. Flowers are followed by indehiscent legumes which are often enclosed within the calyx.

Genus name honors 17-18th century English botanist, Samuel Dale.

Specific epithet honors Augustin Gattinger (1825 -1903), Tennessee botanist.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to rust.

Garden Uses

Rock gardens, border fronts, native plant gardens, wild gardens, prairies or naturalized areas.