Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Purple Prairie-clover

Purple Prairie-clover Dalea purpurea

Bean Family, Perrenial, 1-2 feet in height

Purple Prairie-clover near Atchinson, July 2013
Many flowering stems grow from a single base. Leaves are narrow. Tiny florets open on a conical head from base to the top of the cone. Often the stamens will have a golden color in contrast to the purple flower.The flowers attract many insects. Like other legumes of the bean family, the Purple Praire-clover is good for the soil and adds nitrogen. Other legumes include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, mesquite, soybeans, and peanuts.

Blooms in June and July.

The Purple Praire-clover can be found in short grass country where the land is too dry for farming.

Purple Prairie-clover with golden stamens

The White Prairie-clover is similar, but with white flowers and larger leaves.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Grayhead Prairie Coneflower

Grayhead Prairie Coneflower Ratibida pinnata

The blossom of the Prairie Coneflower, Ratibida pinnata has 3 to 15 yellow flowers. The central disk of the head is ovoid, with up to 400 or more florets. These fertile disk florets are frequently purple.This image was taken at Lake Kahola in Chase County.

Family: Asteraceae - Sunflower Family
Flowering Period: June, July, August

 Native Americans used the root to treat toothaches.

Prairie Cone Flower at Lake Kahola