Dalea frutescens

Latin Name: Dalea frutescens
Common Name: Black Dalea
Mature Height (ft): 30-36"
Mature Width: 3-4'

Mature Shape

Rounded shrub.
Mulch: Inorganic

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Black dalea, an autumn blooming southwest native shrub, should be used more in the home xeric landscape. Growing only to about 3 feet, black dalea spreads out with thin, wiry branches and small, green, compound leaves. The shrub becomes completely covered with tiny purple flowers as to be enshrouded in a purple cloud.

Many references are unsure of its cold hardiness to zero, and it had thrived nicely in my city garden in Amarillo. However, it does not seem to be reliably cold hardy. It's a beautiful shrub that provides stunning late fall color that is worth replanting.

Use in Garden

Native, habitat and xeric mixed borders contrast vividly with yellow flowers in autumn. Pair with Liatris punctata, Engleman's daisy and Yucca rigida for textural as well as color contrast when in bloom. Because of it's smaller size, it can even be used in a narrow xeristrip. Bees love the tiny purple autumn blooms.


Shear the thin twiggy branches back if it becomes too leggy and to keep the size compact. In nature, browsing deer usually keep the growth in check.