Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata)

Partridge Pea is a North American wildflower growing from Massachusetts to Michigan and southward to the Gulf Coast states. During August it blooms profusely along the Jaycee boardwalk:

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Chamaecrista fasciculata, Jaycee Beach 8/17/14

C. fasciculata is typically 1-3ft tall with similar spread; each compound leaf has up to 20 leaflets that contract when touched. The bright yellow flowers have an open irregular shape with 5 rounded petals that vary in size. Β They appear near the leaf axils along the major (green) stems.

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Following fertilization, Partridge pea bears typical legume-style fruit in the form of narrow pods measuring 2.5″ long. Right now the pods are bright green and pliable, but by October they’ll be brown, dry, and bursting with flat pitted seeds.

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Partridge pea grows from a long central taproot that favors sandy/disturbed areas. It establishes readily, fixes nitrogen, and reseeds year-to-year making it an excellent choice for controlling beach erosion.

For an in depth look at C. fasciculata, click on this .pdf file from the Florida Native Plant Society.

Until next time….

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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14 thoughts on “Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata)

    • I do, too. The strangest thing though…I’ve been a more-than-frequent-visitor to that beach for 5 summers now and I never noticed they flowered before last week. Makes me wonder what else I’ve missed! πŸ˜‰

    • Yes, it’s pretty fascinating. The leaves look and react much like those of Powderpuff Mimosa (M. strigillosa); in fact, i thought these plants WERE mimosas right up until they bloomed!

  1. I doubt it is the same plant, but a similar plant has taken hold around my tomatoes, and I consider it a weed! Yours has a pretty flower, but I don’t know if mine does as I haven’t given it a chance to bloom before I pull it. I have thought that the leaves were so pretty, that there must be a place somewhere that it would be welcome.

    • Anything that hijacks a vegetable patch has to go! We just pulled a very pretty ‘mystery’ vine out of our peppers. Half of me wanted to plant it somewhere else but i tossed it into the compost pile. (it may re-root there, who knows? πŸ˜‰ )

  2. So THAT’S what those are! I’ve seen some occasionally on walks and wondered what they were. Thanks for answering that question for me! πŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: Richardia grandiflora (aka Florida Snow) | small house/BIG GARDEN

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