Soft Prairie Clover (Dalea mollissima)


Soft Prairie Clover (Dalea mollissima)

Dalea mollissima is a species of flowering plant in the legume family which is known by the common names soft prairie clover and downy dalea. This wildflower is quite similar in appearance to its close relative, Dalea mollis, but its foliage is covered with thinner, downier hairs. This is a plant of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts and nearby mountains. It is a small, mat-forming annual or perennial herb which grows in patches on the desert floor and slopes. Its leaves are made up of several pairs of oval-shaped fuzz-covered leaflets. It bears fluffy inflorescences of pea-like flowers in white or lavender. The fruit is a single-seeded legume pod.

Photograph is used under Creative Commons license from Joe Decruyenaere.

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.