Partridge Pea, Sleeping Plant, Beach Sensitive Pea

Chamaecrista fasciculata

Family: Caesalpiniaceae (ses-al-pin-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Chamaecrista (kam-ay-KRIS-ta) (Info)
Species: fasciculata (fas-sik-yoo-LAH-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Cassia fasciculata
Synonym:Cassia chamaecrista
Synonym:Chamaecrista deeringiana
Synonym:Chamaecrista fasciculata var. fasciculata
Synonym:Cassia brachiata



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Scarify seed before sowing

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Atmore, Alabama

Midland City, Alabama

Dyer, Arkansas

Quaker Hill, Connecticut

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Archer, Florida

Bartow, Florida

Deland, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Sebring, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Covington, Georgia

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Pukalani, Hawaii

Champaign, Illinois

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Yale, Iowa

Somerset, Kentucky

Hastings, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Florence, Mississippi

Mccomb, Mississippi

Cole Camp, Missouri

Cleveland, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Pocola, Oklahoma

Unionville, Pennsylvania

Summerville, South Carolina

Middleton, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas

College Station, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Georgetown, Texas

Hutchins, Texas

Killeen, Texas

League City, Texas

Lufkin, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Grand Mound, Washington

Westfield, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 30, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is wonderful for restorations of native meadow or prairie or very naturalistic landscapes. It may be too aggressive for neat conventional gardens. It is sold by a good number of native plant nurseries as Prairie Nursery in Westfield, WI or North Creek Nursery in southeast PA.


On Aug 21, 2014, Chillybean from Near Central, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Our plants grew from a tallgrass prairie seed mix for clay subsoil. We tried keeping the area mowed per the suggestions given with the seed, but a few of these escaped the mowing. Beyond our wannabe prairie patch grew a lot of curled dock, thistle, pig weed, but along the edge was found some of the Partridge Pea.

When the seed heads dry, I will place some elsewhere around the property. This is a food source for quail, partridge and pheasants and we would enjoy seeing these birds find food at our place.

We have seen this along roads in wooded areas. This is an annual and if allowed to self-sow, it can be enthusiastic. I dislike "invasive" for native plants.

From Wikipedia:
"It is considered an excellent choice for planting in dis... read more


On Sep 12, 2012, KanapahaLEW from Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This has formed a seasonal hedge along my very dry, sandy, infertile driveway. It attracts hordes of native wasps and bees along with sulfur butterflies. Although it tends to increase its coverage each year, it is easily controlled by pulling. This is NOT fish bean, which is Tephrosia vogellii and which does not have yellow flowers.


On Oct 23, 2011, Erutuon from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

I planted this last year as a seedling from the Friends School Plant Sale. It produced pods that year, but the seeds in them looked like duds, so I didn't expect it to come back. But this year there were hundreds of seedlings all over the bed, so I guess the seeds must've been good. The seedlings have two seed leaves that are short and semi-circular with tiny compound leaves sprouting from the middle. This year there were tons of beautiful yellow flowers that the bees were all over, which gives the plants their positive rating. When the pods are forming, though, the plants are more ugly.


On Aug 22, 2011, panicoidpedro from Cleveland, OH wrote:

Awesome performer! Mine grow to 4 1/2 feet and act as an annual, herbaceous hedge! Best to collect seed pods before they pop or you will have plants everywhere!!!


On Feb 22, 2009, BLOSSOMBUDDY from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I beleive this plant is also known as fishbean and is toxic to livestock. It is highly invasive to pastures and sandy areas.


On Aug 3, 2008, stanjorgensen from Timberville, VA wrote:

I planted a "low-growing wild flower and grass seed mix" from Ernst Conservation Seeds in Pa. not knowing much but wanting to see the plants grow. The partridge pea in mid summer has emerged (in a crowded field) as one of the strong growing and truely beautiful plants in the mix. Being new to Dave's Garden, I'm pleased to find so much information from various growers. Thanks to you folks.


On Sep 1, 2007, ShelleyME from League City, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I had one of these pop up in my flower bed. Since I didn't know if it was a tree, I thought that I had better move it. Someone else said that theirs died once transplanted and mine almost did also. I potted it and it completely flopped over and started to wilt. My pot is one of those that has a retainer for water at the base and I misted the plant with water a few times in the day. It came back up the next day and kept on growing. It did lose some "branches", but, you can't tell. It wasn't until it flowered that I knew that it wasn't an Acacia-type tree because of the pea-like yellow flowers. I was concerned that maybe I was fostering a weed, but, I'm glad that I have found that this is not the case.


On Oct 11, 2004, tcfromky from Mercer, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Partridge Pea is a warm season annual legume which can grow from 1 to 4 feet tall. Flowers have 5 petals which are bright yellow. The lower petal is larger, as is typical with other blooms in the pea family. Found along roadsides and in open wooded areas in the Eastern U.S. from Massachusetts to Florida, west to New Mexico and north to South Dakota.


On Jul 9, 2004, ButterflyMom21 from San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is such a unique and beautiful plant, and I have been trying to figure out the name of it since I moved into my home 4 years ago (until now)! This plant grows wild, sporadically, and uncontrollably around my house, and seems to thrive in sunny and partly shady locations with poor soil... like around the house's concrete foundation or near the driveway base, or where even the weeds and stickers don't grow in my woodsy frontyard. Crazy plant! It would seem hardy.... however any time I try to transplant it, the thing dies within a day (no matter how much of the sandy surrounding soil I keep intact around the root). Now that I see how easy it may be to collect the seeds, I will try to grow them from seeds in the areas I think they will look best. Wish me luck!


On Feb 26, 2004, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Partridge Pea is a lovely annual that will self seed and bloom until frost.
The foliage is compound and very fine resembling a Mimosa. It folds up in the evening and also when touched.
The seeds must be collected when the pods are brown but before they burst open.
Many birds enjoy the seeds in the garden and in the wild.