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Chamaecrista nictitans (Sensitive partridge pea)
Smith, R.W.

Chamaecrista nictitans

Chamaecrista nictitans (L.) Moench

Sensitive Partridge Pea, 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 plant's root system and produce nitrogen compounds necessary for the plant's survival.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Size Notes: Up to about 1 foot tall.

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.


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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Research Literature

Reslit 211 - Can inconspicuous legumes facilitate alien grass invasions? Partridge peas and fountain grass in Hawai'i (2002) D. A. Carino and C. C. Daehler
Reslit 550 - Selecting Chamaecrista spp. for soil stabilisation and forage in southern China (2001) J. B. Hacker, S. L. Wen, Z. Y. Ying and B. C. Peng...
Reslit 1193 - Seed predators are undeterred by nectar-feeding ants on Chamaecrista nictitans (Caesalpineaceae) (2003) S. Ruhren
Reslit 1194 - Jumping spiders (Salticidae) enhance the seed production of a plant with extrafloral nectaries (1999) S. Ruhren and S. N. Handel
Reslit 1342 - Mycorrhizal species identity affects plant community structure and invasion: a microcosm study (2003) E. D. Stampe and C. C. Daehler
Reslit 1554 - Variation in temperature requirements for germination and early seedling root development in Chamaecrista rotundifolia and three allied species (2000) M. G. Xu, C. K. McDonald, C. J. Liu and J. B. Hack...
Reslit 1835 - Multiple pleurograms in Chamaecrista moench (Leguminosae, caesalpinioideae) (2008) O. C. De-Paula and D. M. T. Oliveira
Reslit 1930 - In vitro antiviral activity of Chamaecrista nictitans (Fabaceae) against herpes simplex virus: Biological characterization of mechanisms of action (2004) L. H. Uribe, E. C. Olarte and G. T. Castillo
Reslit 2554 - Cytogenetics of species of Chamaecrista (Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae) native to southern Brazil (2006) E. Biondo, S. T. S. Miotto and M. T. Schifino-Witt...

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
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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 Modified: 2015-12-10
Research By: TWC Staff

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