CPC Plant Profile: Comanche Peak Prairie-clover
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Plant Profile

Comanche Peak Prairie-clover (Dalea reverchonii)

Photo Credit: TX Parks and Wildlife
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • State: TX
  • Nature Serve ID: 140386
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 06/25/2002

Comanche Peak prairie-clover is a low, spreading perennial, which appears as a dense, mat-forming rosette. Numerous thick spikes of rose-pink to magenta-purple flowers bloom in May, before other Dalea species, and continue through June (NatureServe 2016). Until recently, this elusive prairie-clover had been found only in a narrow band through three counties in north-central Texas. Julien Reverchon first collected this member of the pea family in 1882 from "the rocky top of Comanche Peak". Repeated surveys failed to re-locate that particular population (TPWD, 2003), until Spring of 2003 when a few plants were again found on Comanche Peak (Carr, personal communication.). In 2012, Taylor and O'Kennon (2013) conducted surveys for the species, expanding its known distribution to 8 counties and 69 sites.

Participating Institutions
Kim Taylor
  • 05/31/2017

Several threats exist to Dalea reverchonii including road widening, land development, spread of non-native plants, and livestock grazing. Perhaps the most severe threat is that of grazing by livestock. Other than the populations concentrated in Weatherfor

Kim Taylor
  • 05/31/2017

The Nature Conservancy conducted a survey during the Spring of 2003 and now reports 35 known populations in the Hood/Parker/Wise Counties area, including the re-location of the original population (now ~6 plants) on Comanche Peak (Carr, personal communication.). Taylor and O'Kennon (2013) conducted a survey in 2012 where they identified 33 new populations in five additional counties, bringing the total population number to 69 sites. Population numbers range from a single plant to over 1000 plants.

Kim Taylor
  • 05/31/2017

Survey for more populations, Monitor populations, Place some populations under protection, More managing agency awareness at field level

  • 05/31/2017

Seed banking, Genetics testing, Propagation studies, Reproductive ecology

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Known from about 20 occurrences within a very small geographic area in northcentral Texas. Extirpated from Comanche Peak.


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Taxon Dalea reverchonii
Authority (Wats.) Shinners
Family Fabaceae
CPC Number 1353
ITIS 26643
Common Names Comanche-peak Prairie-clover | Reverchon Dalea | Comanche Peak Prairie Clover | Comanche Peak Prairie-clover
Associated Scientific Names Petalostemon reverchonii | Dalea reverchonii | Kuhnistera reverchoni | Petalostemon reverchoni
Distribution This species is endemic to north-central Texas in the Fort Worth Prairie and Lampasas Cut Plain level III Ecoregions in Hood, Parker, Wise, Bosque, Erath, Johnson, Somervell, and Tarrant counties (Taylor & O'Kennon 2013).
State Rank
State State Rank
Texas S2

Shallow calcareous clay to sandy clay soils over limestone in grasslands or openings in post oak woodlands, often among sparse vegetation in barren exposed sites. Most known sites are underlain by WalnutLimestone, a Cretaceous formation. Dalea reverchonii is a calciphile, known to grow only on rocky limestone substrate Cretaceous in age. Mahler (1984) described the habitat as thin soil overlying limestone rock. Orzell (1987) noted that plants were found growing on a nearly flat Goodland Limestone (Cretaceous Age) Glade surrounded by shrub thickets (Orzell 5581, TEX). O'Kennon (2010) and Swadek and Burgess (2012) disagreed on the type of geology, noting that the species is restricted to Walnut Limestone glades. Much of the Walnut (Kwa) and Goodland (Kgl) limestones are mapped as undivided units (i.e. Kgw), possibly leading to the uncertainty in geology. Comanche Peak, the type locality for the species, is topped with Edwards Limestone (Ked). Dalea reverchonii has only been collected in limestone substrate on what have been termed limestone glades by Swadek and Burgess (2012). These glades consist of little to no soil overtopping limestone bedrock. Dalea reverchonii appears restricted to crevices in exposed limestone bedrock, very shallow soils over bedrock, or Walnut marl where the shell hash has been removed. The roots are embedded in the Walnut marl directly below the indurate Texigryphaea mucronata shell hash. The plant was rarely seen where vegetative cover is taller and denser, which seems to be associated with deeper soils overlying the limestone.

Ecological Relationships

Associates include Aristida grass species, Texas grama, bob stitchwort, golden prairie clover, nineanther prairie clover, pinkglobe prairie clover, shaggy dward morning-glory, Drummond's false pennyroyal, diamondflowers, pasture heliotrope, coastal indigo, yellow nailwort, rock Indian breadroot, Texas sage and stuff greenthread (TPWD 2003; Taylor & O'Kennon 2013).

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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