Chamaecrista fasciculata

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Sleeping Plant, Partridge-pea

Fabaceae (Leguminosae)

Also known as Cassia fasciculata

Plant Specifics

Size:To 3 ft tall by To 3 ft wide
Life Span:Annual
Flower Color:Yellow
Fruit Color:Brown
Phenology:Sprouts in early spring, blooms late spring, finished with reproduction by early fall and reseeds.
Noted for:Showy flowers


Recommended Uses:Sometimes used for erosion control. Good in casual garden settings, especially useful for butterfly gardens, because it's a larval food for so many species of butterflies. It's a legume and tolerates poor soil.
Propagation:Seeds are available through the Florida Wildflowers Growers Cooperative.
Availability:Native nurseries, Seed, Specialty providers
Light: Full Sun
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Not wet but not extremely dry ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Not wet but not extremely dry ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Some tolerance to salty wind but not direct salt spray.
Soil or other substrate:Sand
Soil pH:



Birds and other wildlife consume seed which is reported to be particularly important for the bobwhite.


Larval host for cloudless sulfur (Phoebis senna), gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus), orange sulphur (Colias eurytheme), sleepy orange (Abaeis nicippe), little yellow (Eurema lisa) and ceraunus blue (Hemiargus ceraunus) butterflies.

Long-tongued bees are responsible for pollination of the flowers, which includes such visitors as honeybees, bumblebees, long-horned bees (Melissodes spp.), and leaf-cutting bees (Megachile spp.). They are attracted to the food pollen of the purple anthers, and are then dusted by the reproductive pollen of the yellow anthers. Two species of bees, Anthophora walshii and Svastra atripes atripes, are oligoleges of Partridge Pea. Sometimes leaf-cutting bees cut off portions of the petals for their brood chambers. The flowers are usually cross-pollinated by insects, but sometimes they are self-pollinating. (Illinois Wildflowers).  

Petiolar nectaries attract  Halictid bees, wasps, flies, and ants). Unusual visitors to the nectaries are velvet ants (Mutillidae), which are hairy wingless femal wasps. (Illinois Wildflowers

Bee species documented in Florida include Azcgochlora pura, Augochloropsis inetallica, A. sumnptuosa, Dialictzcs coreopsis, D. miniatulus, Megachile brevis pseudobrevis, M mendica, Bolnbz~s impatiens, and Xylocopa micarzs (Deyrup et al. 2002).


Native Habitats:Scrub, high pine (sandhill, clayhill), dry flatwoods, dunes, open disturbed areas where seed is available.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


Ethnobotany:Sometimes grown to attract bees (for honey).
General Comments:Sources disagree on the salt tolerance of this species.