Dalea albiflora

Whiteflower Prairie Clover - Dalea albiflora 
Warm Springs Wash
NE of Hillsboro
New Mexico, USA

What do you do when you encounter a plant that by all descriptions is smaller than typical.  Groan?  Consider the rock and sand that it is trying to grow in?  The Dalea albiflora, Whiteflower Prairie Clover, pictured here was going to seed (of course) when I photographed it on the road up to the Opportunity Mine from Warm Springs Wash, northeast of Hillsboro.

The BONAP map to the right shows the limited range of this species within the United States.  The light green color indicates that Whiteflower Prairie Clover is native to, but not rare within, the counties indicated.  Sierra County in New Mexico, where these photographs were taken is at the eastern extreme of this species’ range.  It is also found in the states of Sonora and Chihuahua in Mexico.

The scientific synonyms for this species include Dalea ordiae, Petalostemon pilosulus, Thornbera albiflora, and Thornbera villosa.  It also goes by the English Common Names of Scruffy Prairie Clover, White Flower Dalea, White Dalea, Ord’s Prairie Clover, and Whiteflower Prairieclover.

This is an excellent butterfly attractor.  The specimen isotype shown below was collected in Sonora County, New Mexico during September 1851 by Charles (Carlos) Wright.  This specimen is likely from the Black Range of New Mexico.





© Robert Barnes 2018