Bumblebees and Dalea

I’ve always been aware that Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea) is a good pollinator plant, but this summer I have been amazed by the numbers of bumblebees converging on these plants. The tiny flowers are arranged in rings, like miniature tutus, surrounding the thimble-shaped flower head. As the ring moves upward from bottom to top with fresh flowers opening each day, the bumblebees return again and again to forage.
Purple Prairie Clover is native to the great plains. As a legume, it fixes nitrogen and therefore benefits the ecosystem as a whole. With deep taproots, the plants are reliably long-lived and drought tolerant.

July 7, 2024