Feather dalea

Dalea formosa

Fabaceae (Legume family)


Feather dalea is a small shrub that is usually under 3 feet tall. Its gray-brown stems are largely hairless, crooked, and widely branched.

The leaves are pinnately compound and very short. Each leaf will have 5 to 10 pairs of thick leaflets that fold up along the edges or tip. The leaves are also hairless and emerge straight from the stem or have a very short petiole.

From April to October Feather dalea's purple flowers bloom. They form loose clusters of 2 to 10 flowers on short stalks. The bracts of each flower has silky hair on the outsides. The fruit is a flat hairy pod containing 1 to 2 seeds.

Feather dalea holds little value as a forge plant for livestock but is valuable as a forage source for deer.


Feather dalea is found on dry hills at altitudes from 2,000-6,500 feet.