Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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

5 members have or want this plant for trade.


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:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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By melody
Thumbnail #1 of Chamaecrista nictitans by melody

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2 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive wildeflower 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.

Negative RRRupert123 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.

Positive melody 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.


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

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Bartow, Florida
Clearwater, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Monmouth, Illinois
Solon, Iowa
Barbourville, Kentucky
Benton, Kentucky
Marietta, Mississippi
Statesville, North Carolina
Corning, Ohio
Dickson, Tennessee

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