in Tucson, Phoenix,
Arizona and California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, Arizona and California

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Dalea pulchra: Santa Catalina Prairie Clover / Indigo Bush

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Form: Shrub.
Leaf retention: Evergreen but drought deciduous.
Growth rate: Moderate to rapid.
Mature Size: 5' high and wide.
Flowers: Purple and white, small, pea-shaped, clustered in fuzzy heads at branch tips.
Bloom: Late fall into spring.
Fruit: Seed in fuzzy flower heads.
Leaves: Silver-green, covered in velvety hair, small.
Stems: No thorns.
Roots: Nitrogen-fixing*.
Wildlife: Attracts bees. Caterpillar food plant for Reakirt's Blue and Southern Dogface butterflies.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8-11.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun. Part shade reduces blooming.
Water once established: Once or twice a month. Excess water reduces lifespan.
Soil: Very well drained, dry, pH 6.1-8.5 (slightly acidic to alkaline). *Do not use a nitrogen fertilizer.
Prune: In summer after flowering, prune to shape.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed.
Uses: Ornamental.

Another common name is Bush Dalea. Subject to root rot in poorly draining soil or when over-watered.

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Dalea pulchra: Indigo Bush - flowers

Dalea pulchra: Indigo Bush - with bee

Dalea pulchra: Indigo Bush