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Chamaecrista nictitans (Partridge-pea)
Stone, Robert L.

Chamaecrista nictitans

Chamaecrista nictitans (L.) Moench

Partridge-pea, Sensitive partridge pea, Sensitive pea

Fabaceae (Pea Family)


USDA Symbol: chni2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), HI (I), PR (N), VI (N)

Partridge-pea or sensitive pea is a slender-stemmed annual, up to 1 ft. tall, with pinnately-compound leaves. Each leaf is made up of numerous small, yellow-green leaflets which fold together when touched. The small, yellow flowers hang from short, axillary pedicels.

Like other members of the pea family, this plant requires the presence of microorganisms that inhabit nodules on the plants root system and produce nitrogen compounds necessary for the plants survival.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug


USA: AL , AR , AZ , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , HI , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Native Distribution: VT to extreme s.e. KS, s. to FL & TX
Native Habitat: Open woods; prairies; thickets; wet or dry shores

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Sandy soils.


Description: Not Available
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native ground cover to replace grass in Florida.
February 04, 2008
Where can I find a list of ground covers to replace my grass. I live in the south of Ocala Florida.
view the full question and answer

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.


Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

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Additional resources

USDA: Find Chamaecrista nictitans in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Chamaecrista nictitans in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Chamaecrista nictitans


Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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