Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Dalea frutescens:
Black Dalea

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Form: Shrub.
Leaf retention: Evergreen but frost-deciduous.
Growth rate: Moderate to rapid.
Mature Size: 3-4' high and 5-6' wide.
Flowers: Purple, pea-like, small, in dense, short spikes at the ends of branches.
Bloom: Winter and spring, and/or mid-summer through fall, depending on local climate.
Fruit: Seed.
Leaves: Small, numerous green leaflets.
Stems: No thorns.
Roots: Nitrogen-fixing*. Stem nodes root wherever they touch ground.
Wildlife: Attracts bees, and occasionally, butterflies. Browsed by mammals.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8b-13.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun.
Water once established: Monthly. Do not overwater.
Soil: Very well drained, dry, low organic content, pH 6.6-8.5 (neutral to alkaline). *Do not use a nitrogen fertilizer.
Prune: When the danger of frost is past, remove damaged parts, shear heavily to shape or to rejuvenate. It can be sheared into a hedge after flowering. Too much shearing can reduce flowers.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed.
Uses: Ornamental, hedge. Possible erosion control on rocky slopes.

This plant is a member of the Legume family (Fabaceae). Another common name is Black Prairie Clover. It is subject to root rot in poorly draining soil or when over-watered.

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Dalea frutescens: Black Dalea - flowers

Dalea frutescens: Black Dalea - flowers

Dalea frutescens: Black Dalea

Latest update: February, 2019
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