western white prairie clover

(Dalea candida var. oligophylla)

Conservation Status
western white prairie clover
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N4 - Apparently Secure

S3 - Vulnerable

     
  Minnesota Special Concern      
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Western white prairie clover is a 1 to 3 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on one to several stems from a taproot that can extend up to 5 into the ground.

The stems light green, slender, widely spreading, straight, unbranched or sparsely branched toward the top, hairless, and ridged.

The leaves are alternate, ¾ to 2½ long, on short stalks. They are divided into 5 to 9 leaflets, usually 7, always an odd number. The leaflets are pale green, untoothed, and hairless. They are to 1 long, less than ¼ wide, and inversely lance-shaped with the attachment at the narrow end. The end leaflet is longer than the lateral leaflets. The tips are rounded with a short, sharp, abrupt point. There are minute glandular dots on the lower surface.

The inflorescence is dense, cylinder-shaped spikes of flowers at the end of each stem.

The spike is more than twice as long as it is wide, to 2 long, and about wide. The flowers at the base of the spike bloom first, forming a white ring. As the season progresses the ring moves up the spike or expands to encompass the entire spike.

The flowers are about ¼ long and about ¼ wide, numerous, white, and fragrant. There have 5 white, long-clawed petals. The petals do not form the typical banner, wings and keel of most plants in the Pea family. Instead, there is a banner petal and four petals fused with the 5 stamen bases into a floral tube.

The fruit is an oval pod about long with 1 seed.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

1 to 3

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea var. purpurea) leaves are darker green, shorter, and narrower. They are seldom over ¾ long and are less than wide. The leaf margins are rolled inward toward the upper side. The flowers are purple.

White prairie clover (Dalea candida var. candida) stems are less widely spreading, more erect. The leaflets are longer, up to 1 long.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Dry. Prairies, meadows. Full sun.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

July to July

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

4, 5, 7, 28.

 
         
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  
 

Order

Fabales (legumes, milkworts, and allies)  
 

Family

Fabaceae (peas, legumes)  
  Subfamily Faboideae (Papilionoideae)  
  Tribe Amorpheae  
 

Genus

Dalea (prairie clover)  
  Species Dalea candida (white prairie clover)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
       
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Dalea occidentalis

Dalea oligophylla

Kuhnistera candida var. diffusa

Kuhnistera candida var. occidentalis

Kuhnistera occidentalis

Kuhnistera oligophylla

Petalostemon candidum var. occidentalis

Petalostemon candidum var. oligophyllus

Petalostemon candidus var. oligophyllus

Petalostemon gracile var. oligophyllum

Petalostemon occidentale

Petalostemon occidentalis

Petalostemon oligophyllum

Petalostemon oligophyllus

Petalostemon sonorae

Petalostemon truncatus

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

fewleaf white prairie clover

western white prairie clover

western white prairie-clover

white dalea

white prairie clover

white prairieclover

white prairie-clover

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Claw

A stalk-like narrowed base of some petals and sepals.

       
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  Dalea candida
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  Dalea candida  
 
About

Native perennial herb, stems usually less than 50 cm and arising from a simple root crown, herbage glandular punctate, pods inconspicuous, concealed inside the small calyx tube and with 1-2 seeds, tolerates the stability of well managed rangeland and sagebrush steppe as well as the disturbance of roadsides, but readily grazed to local extinction (the same is true with the other species of this genus in Montana and vicinity).

 
     

 

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