Prairie Clover

Botanical Name : Dalea purpurea
Family :Fabaceae – Pea family
Genus: Dalea L. – prairie clover
Species: Dalea purpurea Vent. – purple prairie clover
Kingdom :Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division :Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class :Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass; Rosidae
Order :Fabales

Synonyms: Petalostemon violaceum. Michx.

Common Name : Clover, Velvet Prairie,Prairie Clover

Habitat :Native in Eastern and central United States. It grows in dry desert and alluvial soils to 2000 metres. Sandy prairies in Texas.

Description:
Purple prairie clover is a perennial forb, 8 to 35 inches (20-90 cm) tall, with a woody stem. The numerous leaves are 0.4-1.6 inches (1-4 cm) long, with 3 to 7 leaflets. The inflorescence is a 0.4- to 2.6-inch (1-7 cm) spike located at the ends of the branches. Branches are numerous, usually 3 per stem, but sometimes as many as 10 to 12. The mature purple prairie clover has a coarse, nonfibrous root system with a strong woody taproot that is 5.5 to 6.5 feet (1.7-2.0 m) deep. The taproot gives rise to several minutely branched lateral roots. The fruit is a 1- to-2-seeded pod enclosed in bracts

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Bloom Time: June – August
Bloom Color: Rose/Purple

Cultivation :
Requires a well-drained soil in full sun. A deep-rooted plant, it prefers a sandy loam with added leaf mould. This species is well-suited to informal and naturalistic plantings, especially as part of a collection of native species. Plants are monocarpic, living for a number of years without flowering and then dying after flowering. The stems, leaves and flowers are dotted with glands, making the plant look blistered. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

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Propagation :
Seed – pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and sow in early spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summe

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Root.
 Tea.…….The root was used for chewing. A pleasant sweet flavour. The dried leaves are a tea substitute

Medicinal Uses:
This was one of the favored plants of the Native Americans of the prairies. A tea made from the leaves was applied to open wounds and a tea made from the bruised leaves steeped in hot water was used to aid in the healing of wounds as well. Some tribes pulverized the root and made a tea from that powder that was a very healthy drink and a preventative medicine. Some tribes used the entire plant as a prophylactic. Early settlers mixed the bark of the white oak tree and the flowers of this species to make a medicine for diarrhea.  The Chippewa Indians made a decoction of the leaves and blossoms to be used in the treatment of heart problems. The Meskwaki Indians used it to treat diarrhea, and they also made an infusion of the roots in the treatment of measles. The Navajo used the plant to treat pneumonia.

A poultice of the steeped bruised leaves has been applied to fresh wounds. A decoction of the leaves and blossoms has been used in the treatment of heart problems, diarrhoea. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of measles.
Other Uses: Broom……The tough, elastic stems have been made into brooms.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/plant.asp?code=J970
http://www.prairienursery.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_plant_info&products_id=197
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/dalpur/all.html#DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DAPU5&photoID=dapu5_4v.jpg

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dalea+purpurea

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