Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Dalea mollissima, Soft Prairie Clover

Dalea mollissima, Soft Prairie Clover, Southwest Desert Flora Dalea mollissima, Soft Prairie Clover, Southwest Desert Flora Dalea mollissima, Soft Prairie Clover, Southwest Desert Flora Dalea mollissima, Soft Prairie Clover, Southwest Desert Flora Dalea mollissima, Soft Prairie Clover, Southwest Desert Flora

Scientific Name: Dalea mollissima
Common Name: Soft Prairie Clover
Also Called: Downy Dalea or Hairy Dalea
Family: Fabaceae or Leguminosae Family
Synonyms: (Dalea mollis var. mollissimaDalea neomexicana subsp. mollissima)
Status: Native.
Duration: Annual or perennial.
Size: Low-growing, mat forming.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; sprawling, mat-forming, patches, plants with soft hairy pubescence.
Leaves: Green or grayish-green; heavy pubescence, compound, pinnate, leaflets obovate-oblong, fuzz-covered, folded along midrib, leaf tips shallowly lobed and wavy (see photo above).
Flower Color: White, whitish or lavender; flowers pea-like, fruit a legume with one seed.
Flowering Season: December to May
Elevation: Up to 4,000 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Sandy deserts and dry grassland.
Recorded Range: Dalea mollisima is relatively rare in the United States where it is native to AZ, CA and NV. In Arizona it occurs in the central and southwestern parts of the state and in the southeast corners of CA and NV.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: 70 species in Dalea in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Approximately 30 species in Arizona. The Plant List includes 183 accepted species names.

Comments: Soft Prairie Clover is similar in appearance to Dalea mollis, but the pubescence of Soft Prairie Clover has thinner, downier hairs.

Also see Whiteflower Prairie Clover, Dalea albiflora and Indigobush, Dalea formosa.

Date Profile Completed: 08/20/2015, updated; 08/27/2015 and 09/14/2015
References:
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California as Dalea neomexicana subsp. mollissima.
The Plant List (2010). Version 1. Published on the Internet; http://www.theplantlist.org/ (accessed 08/20/2015).
http://www.theplantlist.org/1.1/browse/A/Leguminosae/Dalea/
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/interchange/I_treat_indexes.html (accessed 08/20/2015)
Wikipedia contributors, 'Dalea mollissima', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 20 May 2015, 07:40 UTC, [accessed 20 August 2015]
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information
http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/.