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Locust Weed Chamaecrista fasciculata

Previously known as:

  • Cassia chamaecrista
  • Cassia fasciculata
Description

Partridge Pea is a herbaceous annual that is native to most of the eastern USA and can be found in open woods, meadow, prairies and plains. Large, yellow flowers first mature in summer and continue into early fall and are attractive to bees and butterflies. The feathery green leaves fold together when touched and in the evening as darkness approaches. The flower is followed by a narrow pod which is attractive to songbirds and game birds. Because it is a legume it fixes nitrogen and helps improve the soil. It can grow to 3 feet tall and taller plants tend to sprawl on the ground.

It prefers full sun in moist, well-drained soil and is resistant to erosion drought and dry soil. Plant in a meadow or naturalized area, along a slope to help with erosion or in an area where you would like to improve the soil.  Do note that it can be weedy and self-seeds easily but it is an important wildlife plant.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious problems.  Leaf spot and mildew occasionally occur. Deer browse the foliage.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#showy flowers#wildlife plant#yellow flowers#weedy#nectar plant#cover plant#slopes#host plant#meadow#erosion control#food source#fire#medium flammability#NC native#wild turkeys#quail#large flowers#long bloom time#self-seeding#native wildflower#naturalized area#larval host plant#food source summer#food source fall#bird friendly#butterfly friendly#dry soils tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#showy flowers#wildlife plant#yellow flowers#weedy#nectar plant#cover plant#slopes#host plant#meadow#erosion control#food source#fire#medium flammability#NC native#wild turkeys#quail#large flowers#long bloom time#self-seeding#native wildflower#naturalized area#larval host plant#food source summer#food source fall#bird friendly#butterfly friendly#dry soils tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Chamaecrista
    Species:
    fasciculata
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central and Eastern U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , WI , WV
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers are a nectar source for bees and butterflies and seeds are consumed by songbirds, quail and wild turkeys. It is a host plant for the Cloudless Sulphur, Little Yellow and Sleepy Orange butterflies. The plant also provides cover for game birds.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herb
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Prostrate
    Spreading
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Flat, narrow 2 1/2" long green pods mature to brown, breaking open and dispersing seeds in late summer and fall.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Irregular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Clusters of 2-6, 1" flowers form in leaf axils with 5 bright yellow rounded petals of various sizes in an open irregular shape. They have a reddish-purple spot at the base of the petal and stamens are red.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Oblong
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are alternate and pinnately divided with up to 20 linear-oblong leaflets that are 2/3 inch long and 1/3 inch wide. They have petioles with nectaries that attract insects. Leaves fold together when touched and as it gets dark in the evening.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion
    Problems:
    Weedy