Dalea frutescens Gray

  • Family: Fabaceae (legumes)
  • Common name: black dalea

    Description: Small shrub 20-100 cm (8-40 in) tall. Stems erect to decumbent and rooting, forming small thickets. Leaves alternate, odd-pinnate, 10-20 mm (0.4-0.8 in) long, short-petioled. Leaflets oblanceolate, 4-10 pairs, minutely gland-dotted, 1.5-5 mm (0.06-0.2 in) long. Stipules 2 mm (0.1 in) long. Inflorescence short spike, 5-25 flowered. Flowers small, purple/white. Legumes 2.5-4 mm (0.1-0.15 in) long. Flowers and fruits appear in late summer and early fall.

    Distribution: South-central Oklahoma to Texas, New Mexico, and northern Mexico.
    Habitat: In Oklahoma it is most abundant on rocky limestone uplands in the Arbuckle Hills and the limestone hills north of the Wichita Mountains.
    NWI status: none
    Comment: The foliage is browsed by deer and cattle. Dalea honors the English botanist Samuel Dale; frutescens refers to its shrubby habit.

    Distribution in Oklahoma:

    Last update: 9/10/99
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