Copyright 2000-2015 by Thomas Zinneman.  All rights reserved. Partridge Pea Chamaecrista fasciculata

The Partridge Pea is a common plant found in the eastern and central parts of the U.S.  It is a native Florida plant and found throughout most of the state.  It grows in pine flatwoods, sandhills, prairies, and river banks.  The plant attracts bees and butterflies.  According to the U.S. Dept. Of Agriculture, it is an important honey plant.  The nectar is not available in the flowers, as with most plants, it is produced by small glands at the base of each leaf.  This plant is used as a host plant by Sulphur, Ceranus Blue, and Gray Hairstreak butterflies.  It also provides food (seeds) and cover for gamebirds, such as the Northern Bobwhite.

This annual plant grows to a height of 1 to 3 feet.  The leaves consist of 10-15 pairs of small leaflets.  The flowers have five yellow petals (reddish at base) of differing sizes and irregular shapes.  The flowers are about 1 inch in diameter and grow 2 to 4 together on a stem.  They normally bloom from June to September.  The fruit is a straight narrow pod of seeds about 2 inches long.

The images on this page were taken at Hathaway Park in Charlotte County in June, 2002 and June, 2015.

The distribution maps for the Partridge Pea are from the Plants Database of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).