Size: Up to 1 foot (.3 m) low-growing, mat forming.
Growth Form: Whiteflower Prairie is a forb/herb; sprawling, mat-forming, patches, plants with soft hairy pubescence; plants upright (erect) or low-growing.
Leaves: Whiteflower Prairie has green or grayish-green; the fuzzy leaves are heavily gland-dotted, hairy; compound leaves, leaflets rounded, folded with leaf tips shallowly lobed and wavy (see photo above).
Flower Color: Whiteflower Prairie flowers are whitish or cream to red, purple or lavender; flowers typical pea-like flowers; flowers soft hairy; the fruit is a 1-seeded pod.
Flowering Season: January or December to May.
Elevation: Up to 3,000 feet (914 m).
Habitat Preferences: Sandy deserts, washes, desert chaparral, dry grassland, desert flats and mountainous areas in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts.
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; in CA and NV it is found in the southeast corners of the state.
North America species range map for Soft Prairie Clover, Dalea mollissima:
Click image for full size map.
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: In North America, USDA Plants Database lists 108native species for Dalea; Worldwide, World Flora Online includes 223 accepted species names for the genus and The Plant List shows 233 records for Dalea including varieties.
Members of the genus Dalea are known collectively as the Prairie Clovers and Indigo Bush.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 32 species of genus, California, Nevada and Utah each have 4 species, New Mexico has 29 species and Texas has 36 species. Data approximate, subject to revision.
Comments: Soft Prairie Clover is similar in appearance to Dalea mollis, but the pubescence of Soft Prairie Clover has thinner, downier hairs.
Soft Prairie Clover, Dalea mollissima has attractive flowers, the flowers and their seeds may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals including rodents and granivorous birds in search of nectar or food.
Beneficial Value to Butterflies, Honey Bees and Insects
Soft Prairie Clover, Dalea mollissima has attractive flowers, the flowers and their plants may be visited by butterflies, moths, flies, honeybees, Native Bees and other insects in search of food and nectar.