Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
  • Home
  • Trailheads
  • Downloads
  • Privacy Policy
  • Return to Portal
  • Purple Prairie Clover

    SCIENTIFIC NAME: Dalea purpurea

    COMMON NAME: Purple Prairie Clover, Purple Prairie- clover

    BLOOM TIME: July, Aug, Sept

    Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie credit: R. Kapala


    • Slender, leafy plant up to 3’ tall.
    •  Dense quarter inch flowers in cylinder shape with 5 orange stamens.
    • Found in prairies and throughout Illinois.
    • Native American Indians used plant leaves for a tea to put on open wounds.
    • Early settlers used as a tea for diarrhea.
    • Indigenous people also used the tough elastic stems to make brooms.


    • The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract many kinds of insects, including honeybees, bumblebees, and cuckoo bees.
    • Cuckoo bees are nest parasites and rely on other bees to raise their young.    
    • Mammalian herbivores readily eat this highly palatable plant that is high in protein.
    • Small rodents may carry the seeds to their dens, which may aid in the distribution of this plant.