Partridge Pea: The Sleeping Plant or Sensitive Plant

Partridge Pea

Do you know about the sleeping plant? It’s also known as the sensitive plant because it folds up its leaves when you touch it.

Partridge peas have large yellow flowers that grow to be 1 inch in diameter and attract bees, which collect pollen.

Some butterflies use the plant as a larval habitat. The plant has tiny structures on its stems known as “extrafloral nectaries,” which provide tiny amounts of nectar to attract predatory insects, thereby protecting the plant from predators.

Botanical Name Chamaecrista fasciculata
Common Name Sleeping plant, sensitive plant, golden cassia, locust weed
Plant Type Annual, short-lived perennial
Mature Size 2-3 ft. tall
Sun Exposure Full to part sun
Soil Type Loam, clay, sand, adaptable to many soils
Soil pH Acidic to neutral
Bloom Time Mid summer through fall
Flower Color Yellow
Hardiness Zones 3 – 9 (USDA)
Native Areas Eastern United States

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

  • If you want to keep your plants healthy, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure they’re getting enough light.
  • Partridge peas need at least six hours of sunlight each day, so if you’re growing them indoors, put them near a sunny window.
  • Second, water them regularly. The soil should be moist but not soggy; let it dry out slightly between waterings.
  • Finally, fertilize monthly during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20.
  • With just a little care, your partridge peas will thrive and provide you with beautiful blooms all summer long! flowers. This is likely because the nectaries produce more sugar than flower nectar alone.

Lighting and Temperature

Partridge pea grows best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. It is a heat-loving plant and will do well in temperate to hot climates. In cooler areas, it can be grown as an annual.

The plant prefers well-drained soil but can tolerate some drought. Once established, it is quite tolerant of poor soil conditions.


Partridge pea grows best in sandy soils with full sun exposure, but it can also tolerate some shade. It is a drought-tolerant plant, but it does not do well in waterlogged soils.


Fertilizer is not necessary for partridge pea, and in fact, too much nitrogen can cause the plant to produce fewer flowers.

The plant does best in full sun but will tolerate some shade. It is drought tolerant once established.


Pruning of the plant should be done in late fall or early winter. By doing this, it will help to produce more flowers the following season.

The partridge pea is a good choice for a native garden as it does not require much maintenance and can tolerate drought conditions once established.

It can also be used as a groundcover in areas where grasses are not well-suited. The plant has a dense network of roots that help to stabilize the soil and prevent erosion.


Partridge pea does not like to sit in wet soil, so make sure the pot has drainage holes. Allow the topsoil to dry out between watering.


Size and shape of partridge pea leaves vary depending on the subspecies. The main stem is erect and usually branched in the upper half.

Partridge peas grow up to 24 inches tall, with some plants growing as high as 36 inches.

Leaves are alternate, pinnately compound, and have 19-41 leaflets per leaf.


Flowering plants are beautiful, but they’re not just for looks. Many of them play an important role in the ecosystem, providing food and shelter for a variety of animals.

One such plant is the partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata), which is also known as the “sleeping plant” or “sensitive plant.”

It was previously classified as a Cassia Genus element and is known as golden cassia.

Growing Partridge Pea from Seed

When planting seeds for the first time, it is important to consider stratification in winter and freezing stratification to ensure they get a good start.

The seeds have a tough outer shell and may need to be scarified before they can grow. Sandpaper is an excellent choice for this.

To plant, use potting mix about a half inch deep in a seed tray and place it in a spot that gets morning and afternoon sun. Maintain moisture. Within two weeks, seedlings will begin to sprout.

After the last day of frost, you can transplant them outside when they are 2 inches tall. Once established, the plant will naturally reseed. With proper care, you can look forward to a beautiful display of flowers each year.

Does partridge pea need full sun?

Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) is a native North American annual plant in the legume family. It gets its name from the shape and color of its seeds, which resemble those of the partridge bird.

The plant grows best in sandy or sandy loam soils and thrives in bright sunlight. However, it can also grow well in shady conditions.

Partridge pea is low in needs for water and can be grown and produce seeds even in stressed conditions. This makes it an excellent choice for dry, sunny areas where other plants might struggle to survive.

In addition to being a beautiful ornamental plant, partridge pea is also valued for its role in restoring disturbed habitats and providing food and shelter for wildlife.

How do you grow Partridge peas?

Partridge peas are a type of legume that is often used as a cover crop or green manure. They are easy to grow and can be very beneficial for your garden.

To plant partridge peas, simply sow the seeds in the fall or a few weeks before the last frost of spring. Partridge peas are tolerant of dry, poor, and average soil, so you don’t have to worry about having perfect growing conditions.

Additionally, partridge peas will help to improve the quality of your soil by adding nitrogen and other nutrients. So not only are they easy to grow, but they can also be very helpful for your garden.

Do rabbits eat partridge pea?

Partridge pea is a common wildflower in the eastern and central United States. It is a member of the legume family, which means that it helps to replenish the soil with nitrogen.

The leaves and stems of the plant are covered in small, sharp thorns. The flowers are yellow and have a high number of petals. Partridge pea is an important food source for many animals, including rabbits.

The leaves are rich in nutrients and are easily digestible. Rabbits will often eat the leaves of the plant on a regular basis. In addition, the seeds of the plant are an important food source for many birds, including partridges.

Partridge pea is a valuable plant in many ecosystems and plays an important role in the food web.

Can you eat partridge pea?

Partridge pea is a flowering plant in the bean family that is native to North America. The plant produces small, black seeds that are high in protein and phosphorus.

Partridge pea seeds are also low in fiber and lignin, making them highly digestible. The seeds are a valuable food source for many animals, including lesser and greater prairie-chickens, ring-necked and pheasant mallards, grassland birds, and field mice.

While partridge pea seeds are not typically consumed by humans, they can be eaten if desired. However, it is important to note that the seeds contain high levels of cyanide, which can be toxic to humans in large quantities.

Therefore, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before consuming partridge pea seeds.

What kills partridge pea?

Partridge pea is a herbaceous annual plant that is native to North America. The plant typically grows to a height of between 12 and 36 inches, and produces small, yellow flowers.

Partridge pea is a popular food source for many animals, including deer, rabbits, and quail. However, the plant is also susceptible to damage from fire.

Fire can kill partridge pea plants outright, or damage the plants so severely that they are unable to produce seeds. As a result, fires can have a significant impact on the abundance of partridge pea populations.

In addition to direct mortality, fires can also consume seeds that are stored in the soil, making it difficult for the plants to recover after a fire has occurred.

What does partridge pea plant look like?

The partridge pea plant is a slim-stemmed annual flowering plant that typically grows to be about three feet tall. It has pinnately compound leaves, which means that each leaf is composed of a number of smaller leaflets.

These leaflets are typically green in color, with some having yellow tones. One of the defining characteristics of the partridge pea plant is that the leaflets will fold up when they are touched.

In addition, the plant produces large, bright yellow flowers. These flowers usually have red markings, and they are followed by small pods.

Do deer eat partridge peas?

Partridge peas are a type of legume that is commonly found in the southeastern United States. The plant produces small, round peas that are often used as a source of food for wildlife.

While small mammals such as rodents and squirrels are known to eat the seeds of partridge peas, it is not clear if deer also consume this type of plant.

Some experts believe that deer may graze on the leaves of partridge peas during the autumn and summer months, but there is no evidence to support this claim.

Additionally, partridge peas contain a compound called lathyrism, which can be toxic to livestock if consumed in large quantities. As a result, it is advisable to exercise caution if you are considering feeding partridge peas to deer.

What is partridge pea used for?

Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) is a flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae. It gets its name from the seeds which resemble a partridge’s egg.

The plant is native to North America and is found in the eastern and central United States as well as southern Canada. Partridge pea is cultivated for ornamental purposes.

Its bright yellow flowers are a common choice to use in native gardens. The plant is also used in revegetation projects to help stabilize soils. Cherokee used partridge peas as a root remedy to help keep ball players from getting tired.

They also utilized partridge pea as an energizer infusion to treat fainting spells. Partridge pea is an annual plant, meaning it completes its life cycle in one growing season.

It typically blooms from July to September. The flowers are followed by seed pods which contain between five and eight seeds each. Once the seeds mature, the pods burst open and release them.

Partridge pea is an important food source for wildlife, especially birds such as quail and wild turkeys. The seeds are also eaten by small mammals such as chipmunks and squirrels.

Is partridge pea poisonous?

The partridge pea is a legume that is native to the southeastern United States. It is a drought-tolerant plant that can often be found growing in fields and along roadsides.

The plant has small yellow flowers and is a member of the pea family. While the foliage of the partridge pea plant is nutritious, it could be toxic and is possibly dangerous for cattle.

The toxins in the foliage can cause photosensitization, which can lead to skin problems and liver damage. Cattle that consume large quantities of partridge pea plants may develop photosensitization, restlessnes, anorexia, and fever.

In severe cases, the toxicity can lead to death. If you suspect that your cattle have consumed partridge pea plants, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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