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Partridge Pea, Wild Sensitive Plant

Chamaecrista nictitans

Family: Caesalpiniaceae (ses-al-pin-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Chamaecrista (kam-ay-KRIS-ta) (Info)
Species: nictitans
Synonym:Chamaecrista nictitans subsp. nictitans
Synonym:Cassia nictitans
Synonym:Cassia aeschinomene
Synonym:Cassia lechenaultiana






Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

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


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

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Bartow, Florida

Clearwater, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Trenton, Florida

Monmouth, Illinois

Solon, Iowa

Barbourville, Kentucky

Benton, Kentucky

Marietta, Mississippi

Statesville, North Carolina

Corning, Ohio

Dickson, Tennessee

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 22, 2008, wildeflower from Monmouth, IL wrote:

I first found this plant growing along a hard dirt roadway. It has been a beautiful performer in my garden. Spreads nicely, yet easy to pull where you don't want it. I let it grow freely and one year had a bobwhite quail nest in the midst of a clump of tall weeds/wildflowers in the center of my 40 x 60' "flower" bed. A thrill to watch the little ones take off. I find that it does fold up when touched, but I have to hold it quite a few seconds to get this action. I like it because it is self cleaning, always pretty. I've researched it a little; read that native Americans used it as baby rattles. Am planning to cook some seeds and see how they taste.


On Feb 18, 2006, RRRupert123 from Solon, IA wrote:

Yes, this plant is wild in my area. However, it does not fold up when you touch it. It only folds up at night. It likes dry sandy areas that get lots of sun.


On Aug 18, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

This lovely little wildflower graces our fields and meadows in late summer here in west KY. Never terribly invasive, but common enough that large colonies of them can be see often.

A characteristic of this plant is that when touched or brushed, the leaves fold up tightly like hands in prayer...another common name is Prayer Plant.