Purple Prairie Clover


This low growing plant has narrow leaves, and dense, cylindrical flower spikes at the end of the flowering stalks. 

Wilkinson reports that prairie-clover was used by the Blackfoot. The leaves were bruised, steeped in water and applied to wounds, and were made into tea and potions to prevent disease. (121) 


Growth habit and range: Unlike white prairie clover, this plant often shows a prostrate to decumbent growth habit. It is also common on dry sites in the southern portion of the province. This plant grows to a height of up 25–50 cm and it is multistemmed.

Description: The smooth leaves are grey-green in colour, pinnately compound and comprised of 3–5 linear leaflets, each measuring 5–15 mm in length. The flowers appear from June to August, and are clustered on a 5 cm, cylindrical head at the stem tip. Flowering proceeds from the bottom of the head upward. Each fuchsia to purple flower measures just 4–6 mm in length, and the protruding stamens are yellow. The fruit is a 3–4 mm long pod which contains one or two brown seeds.


  • Wilkinson, Kathleen. 1999. Wildflowers of Alberta: A Guide to Common Wildflowers and Other Herbaceous Plants. University of Alberta Press and Lone Pine Publishing, AB.