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Black dalea is small mounding shrub, 3-4 ft. tall and as wide. Gray foliage is comprised of pinnately compound leaves having 13-17 leaflets that will drop during periods of drought stress. Deep purple flowers occur in round heads in spring and intermittently from summer to fall.

Black dalea is native to dry areas on rocky hills and plains in desert regions of Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. This is an open and delicately branched shrub that works well in dry stream beds and small garden spaces in Southwestern style gardens. The cultivar, D. f. 'Sierra Negra' produces intense rose-purple flowers and can reach 3 ft. tall and 5 ft. wide.

Water Needs

Black dalea is well adapted to hot microclimate locations in the Inland Empire where it thrives in sun and with normal winter rainfall and low amounts of summer water. It is a colorful flowering accent shrubs for courtyard and southwestern plantings in both commercial and residential settings. Monthly deep watering from spring through fall will enhance its spring flowering cycle and help maintain good foliage character. It should be noted there are several months marked by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water depending upon exposure conditions and size.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Open, Mounding, Delicate
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.
Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Gray green
Flower Color: Purple
Flower Season: Summer, Fall
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Rocky soil
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Heat, Drought, Cold hardy, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Rock gardens, Residential spaces, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Borders, Banks, Attracts butterflies, Small spaces


Prune or shear in early spring as necessary (8). Trim as necessary next to borders, edges, or to lower height (D).



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