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Black Dalea
Dalea frutescens

Fabaceae (Leguminoceae)

A low, mounding shrub with feathery foliage, black dalea grows in dry limestone from the Trans-Pecos east to Austin and north to Oklahoma. From late summer into fall the flowers obscure the foliage; they resemble feather dalea's purple pea-like blooms without the plumes. Like feather, silver and Gregg dalea (D. formosa,D. bicolor var. argyraea, and D. greggii), black dalea prefers to grow in full sun in poor, well-drained soils and resents fertilizer and overwatering. The only maintenance necessary after it's established is to shear the foliage relatively severely in the winter or early spring to keep the dense shape. It is an excellent low maintenance groundcover, useful for erosion control on rocky slopes, or in areas of reflected heat. It is cold hardy to about 15 degrees F.

Plant Habit or Use: groundcover
small shrub

Exposure: sun

Flower Color: purple

Blooming Period: summer

Fruit Characteristics: small indehiscent pod

Height: to 3 feet

Width: to 5 feet

Plant Character: semievergreen

Heat Tolerance: very high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: neutral

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8

Additional Comments:

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