Chamaecrista fasciculata (Michx.) Greene
Partridge pea, Sleepingplant, Sensitive plant
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
USDA Symbol: chfa2
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Size Notes: 1-3
Flower: Flowers 1/2 inch
Size Class: 0-1 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , WI , WV
Native Distribution: MA to FL 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
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)Chamaecrista fasciculata is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Learn more at BAMONA
Sleepy Orange |
Learn more at BAMONA
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagate by seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
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
From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Ohio Prairie Nursery - Hiram, OH
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-0149 Collected 2007-09-04 in County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Research LiteratureReslit 482 - Population differentiation in an annual legume: Local adaptation (2000) L. F. Galloway and C. B. Fenster
Reslit 483 - Nuclear and cytoplasmic contributions to intraspecific divergence in an annual legume (2001) L. F. Galloway and C. B. Fenster
Reslit 481 - The effect of nuclear and cytoplasmic genes on fitness and local adaptation in an annual legume, Chamaecrista fasciculata (1999) L. F. Galloway and C. B. Fenster
Reslit 473 - Establishing vegetation on migrating inland sand dunes in Texas (2006) T. E. Fulbright, J. A. Ortega-Santos, A. Lozano-Ca...
Reslit 439 - Quantifying gene flow from spatial genetic structure data in a metapopulation of Chamaecrista fasciculata (Leguminosae) (2003) C. B. Fenster, X. Vekemans and O. J. Hardy
Reslit 436 - Inbreeding and outbreeding depression in natural populations of Chamaecrista fasciculata (Fabaceae) (2000) C. B. Fenster and L. F. Galloway
Reslit 437 - Population differentiation in an annual legume: Genetic architecture (2000) C. B. Fenster and L. F. Galloway
Reslit 421 - Evolutionary potential of Chamaecrista fasciculata in relation to climate change. II. Genetic architecture of three populations reciprocally planted along an environmental gradient in the great plains (2004) J. R. Etterson
Reslit 420 - Evolutionary potential of Chamaecrista fasciculata in relation to climate change. 1. Clinal patterns of selection along an environmental gradient in the great plains (2004) J. R. Etterson
Reslit 405 - Intraspecific hybridization and the recovery of fitness in the native legume Chamaecrista fasciculata (2006) D. L. Erickson and C. B. Fenster
This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Chamaecrista fasciculata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Chamaecrista fasciculata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Chamaecrista fasciculata
MetadataRecord Modified: 2012-12-07
Research By: TWC Staff