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Partridge Pea

Species  

Common Name Partridge Pea

Latin Name:  Chamaechrista fasciculata    

[Pronounced: "kam-ee-KRISS-ta    fass-ick-yoo-LATE-ah"]

Formerly Cassia fasiculata

Type of Plant: Forb


Identification Helps: A small, easy-to-identify plant, usually less the 24 inches tall, often just a foot or less. Has distinctive sensitive plant-like leaves, with small put prominent yellow flowers (as shown).


Similar Species: None on the prairie.


Preferred Growing Conditions in the Wild:  Prefers loose, sandy, or dry soils but can be seeded on all but the wettest sites.


Seasons of Growth and Bloom: Blooms from late July  through October.


Natural Distribution in Ohio:  Found throughout Ohio on prairies, occassionaly on non-prairie sites.


Description and General Information: Partridge Pea is one of the very few annual plants found on tallgrass prairies in Ohio. It grows and re-seeds well, particularly on looser soils and where big bluestem or other tall, dense vegetation has not overtaken a site.


The seeds are eaten by many species of birds.


The leaves of the plant look very similar to the horticultural sensitive plant (Mimosa pudica), but unlike this house-plant favorite, partridge pea leaves do not readily fold when touched.