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Summer Farewell Dalea pinnata


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Summer Farewell - flower and flowerbud
credit: Bob Peterson/CCSA

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Family: Fabaceae, Pea view all from this family

Description In bloom, summer farewell resembles a member of the aster family, but DNA tests have shown that it belongs to the pea family.
Habit: native perennial herb; thin, upright or arching stems, woody at base, branched at top, smooth to slightly hairy.
Height: to 4 ft (1.2 m)
Leaf: alternate, oddly pinnate; 3-7 leaflets, very narrowly linear to thread-like.
Flower: small, white, narrow, 0.3 in (8 mm) long; in dense round cluster, 0.5 in (12 mm) diameter, resembling an aster, with reddish-brown bracts at base.

Flower Late summer to mid-autumn.

Habitat Dry sites on the Coastal Plain: sandhills, scrub, open sandy pine woods, sandy hillsides, roadsides; also cultivated for landscape restoration and wildflower mixes.

Range Native to southeastern U.S., from North Carolina south to Florida, west to Louisiana.

Discussion Two varieties are proposed. Summer farewell is a host plant for the southern dogface butterfly, Zerene cesonia, as well as a nectar source for several other species of butterflies.