Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York.
Where Commonly Found: Grasslands, glades, riverbanks, floodplains and many types of forest. Not present in New England, only in NY.
How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center key to ID for Petalostemon [Dalea] purpurea.
Missouri Botanical Garden webpage for Petalstemon [Dalea] purpurea/
Flower Type: Mid-June to Mid-August, fuschia/purple colored, (think conehead with a tutu), cylindrical dense spikes, 1″-2″ long by .25″-1″ across. Each individual flower has 5 small petals and 5 gold anthers sticking out. The flowers progress up the spike flower head
Leaf Arrangement: Odd-pinnate, compound, alternate leaves around a central stem that is slightly ridged and hairless. Older plants may become bushy with multiple stems.
Leaf Type: Dark green with scattered translucent dots, 3-7 leaflets, linear, 1″ long by 1/8″ across, crushed leaves smell citrusy.
Height: 1′ – 3′
Seed Collection: Seed pods/legumes about 1/2″ long, contain 1 – 2 hairless seeds/small beans about 1/16″ long, olive green to tan or brown. Air-dry and brush through a 1/2″ to 1/4″ screen, then air-screen to remove smaller dried particles.
Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Larval Host
Use: Garden, Naturalizing
Light: Full Sun to Part Sun
Hardiness Zone: 3 to 8 USDA Zone Map
Soils: Dry to Moist
Notes: Purple Prairie Coneflower is great in gardens or meadows, with funny cone-head-with-a-tutu flowers, attracting many pollinators and is host to the Dogface Butterfly.
Native to nowhere in New England, but so fun, I’m including in my selections. It is native to NY, Mid-West, South and West to the Rockies. Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North America Plant Atlas (NAPA).