Summer Farewell - Tansy Prairie Clover
(Trifoliate Summer Farewell)
Dalea pinnata Var. trifoliata (J.F. Gmelin) Barneby
Fabaceae (Legume) Family

 

Plant is an upright perennial with a woody stem, slightly hairy or smooth. Preferred habitat is roadsides, thin pine woods, slopes and sandy hillsides. Distribution is through-out the Escambia region, except directly at seashore.

The leaves are made up of three to seven leaf segments forming an odd-pinnate leaf; filiform and glandular-dotted; alternate on the stem.

Flowers first appear as a conical globule (bud) red in color and small, appearing much like a members of the aster tribe. Flowering occurs in late summer and persists into mid-autumn.

Local identification of this plant has given rise to some confusion as to whether it should be a member of the aster family.



The flower appears much like the head of an aster, as well as the red sepals that overlay the flowering bud; indicative of a sunflower. These characteristics gave rise to its being called "Harrington's Aster" in error. DNA tests prove without doubt that the plant is a member of the bean family. Old habits are often hard to break.

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