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Soft Prairie Clover
Dalea mollissima

About Soft Prairie Clover (Dalea mollissima) Dalea mollissima is a desert wildflower plant in the legume family (Fabaceae), with the common names soft prairie clover, downy dalea, and silk dalea. :86 The plant is native to the Mojave Desert, Sonoran Desert, and desert chaparral in adjacent mountains. It is found in California, northeastern Baja California, western Arizona, and southern Nevada. It grows on desert flats and in washes, under 900 metres (3,000 ft) in elevation. Dalea mollissima is a small, mat-forming annual or perennial herbaceous plant . Its leaves are made up of several pairs of oval-shaped fuzz-covered leaflets. The foliage is similar to Dalea mollis, but is covered with thinner, downier hairs. It bears fluffy inflorescences of pea-like flowers in white or lavender. Its bloom period is March to May. The fruit is a single-seeded legume pod.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
0.16 - 1.2 ft (0.05 - 0.37 m)

Flower Color
White, Lavender

Native Status

Natural Setting
Elevation ?
-224' - 8181'

Annual Precip. ?
2.1" - 23.3"

Summer Precip. ?
0.26" - 2.58"

Coldest Month ?
29.0° F - 64.0° F

Hottest Month ?
53.3° F - 90.1° F

Humidity ?
2.45 vpd - 49.04 vpd

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Downy Dalea, Hairy Dalea, Silk Dalea

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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