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Marcus, Joseph A.
Chamaecrista fasciculata (Michx.) Greene
Partridge pea, Sleepingplant, Sensitive plant
USDA Symbol: CHFA2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Sleepingplant or partridge-pea is a slender-stemmed, 1-3 ft. annual with pinnately-compound leaves bearing many small, yellow-green leaflets which fold together when touched. Large, showy, yellow flowers arise from leaf axils. Each flower is marked with red and is followed by a narrow pod.
This wildflower provides bright summer color, and the flowers attract bees and butterflies. Seed pods are eaten by gamebirds and songbirds, and the plant provides excellent cover for gamebirds and browse for deer. Leaves collapse when touched, giving rise to the common name Sensitive-plant. Like other members of the pea family, Partridge-pea requires the presense of microorganisms that inhabit nodules on the plants root system and produce nitrogen compounds necessary for the plants survival.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual Habit: Herb Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Size Notes:
Flowers 1/2 inch
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
, WV Native Distribution: MA
Panhandle, w. to MN,
e. NE, OK
& extreme e. TX Native Habitat:
Open woodlands, Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil Description: Dry, deep, sandy, well-drained soils. Clay, Clay Loam, Medium Loam, Sandy Loam, Sandy, Acid-based, Calcareous
BenefitUse Ornamental: Showy, Color, Wildflower meadow, Border
Use Wildlife: Nectar-Bees, Nectar-Butterflies, Seeds-Granivorous birds, Nectar-ants.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Cloudless giant sulpher, Orange sulphur, Sleepy orange butterflies.
Nectar Source: yes
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagate by seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Find Seed or Plants
Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Ohio Prairie Nursery
- Hiram, OH
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-0149
Collected 2007-09-04 in County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Record Last Modified: 2012-12-07
Research By: TWC Staff