Partridge Pea
Chamaecrista fasciculata
This annual has a long bloom time, from June to October. It grows to a height of 1 to 3 feet tall. The flowers form in short clusters with only one flower opening at a time. The foliage is finely divided giving it a very pleasing, feathery appearance. Cloudless Giant Sulphur, Orange Sulphur, Little Yellow, and Sleepy Orange Butterflies all use the plant as their larval food. The seeds that form in the flat bean pod are an important source of food for game birds like dove and quail, as well as for songbirds. The roots have nitrogen-fixing properties that enhance the soil that they are growing in. Over-all, this is one of our best habitat plants. The Partridge Pea is easy in sandy or loamy soils, as long as they are well drained. Though they germinate in late spring, be sure to plant them in the fall. They need to over-winter in the ground.

Legume leaves of Partridge Pea (above)
Wonderful plants for native bees and honeybees. American Bumble Bees use these a lot, and their bloom period is really long - Carol Clark (above photo)
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