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PlantFiles: 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

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

17 members have or want this plant for trade.


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


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

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

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 27 photos.
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8 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Chillybean 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 disturbed areas, as it will quickly cover an area, preventing erosion, while still allowing other plants to become established."

Positive KanapahaLEW 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.

Positive Erutuon 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.

Positive panicoidpedro 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!!!

Negative BLOSSOMBUDDY 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.

Positive stanjorgensen 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.

Positive ShelleyME 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.

Neutral tcfromky 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.

Positive ButterflyMom21 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!

Positive frostweed 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.


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

Atmore, Alabama
Midland City, Alabama
Dyer, Arkansas
Quaker Hill, Connecticut
Archer, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Deland, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Sebring, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Covington, Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Pukalani, Hawaii
Yale, Iowa
Somerset, Kentucky
Hastings, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Florence, Mississippi
Mccomb, Mississippi
Cole Camp, Missouri
Cleveland, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Pocola, Oklahoma
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

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