Butterfly Garden Plant Chamaecrista fasciculata Partridge Pea

Butterfly Garden Plants

Partridge Pea

(Chamaecrista fasciculata)

Other common names for this plant include Showy Partridge Pea, Sensitive Plant, Sleepingplant, Sleeping Pea

General Information
Cultural Requirements
Native Range
Plant Rating
Plant Reviews

General InformationNABA_DividerBar

Partridge Pea growing at Powell Gardens in Missouri

Partridge Pea growing at Powell Gardens in Missouri

Cloudless Sulphur uses Partridge Pea as a caterpillar food

Cloudless Sulphur uses Partridge Pea as a caterpillar food

Native from southern Florida to northern Minnesota, Partridge Pea looks best when planted in groups and is easy to include in most medium to large size gardens. A short-lived perennial that is grown as an annual, Partridge Pea has bright yellow flowers that incorporate easily into many garden border combinations. Try pairing with liatris for contrasting colors and plant forms.

Partridge Pea also provides pollen for a number of other insects and birds relish the seed pods that follow the flowers.

Read more about the use of Partridge Pea for butterfly gardening in a reprint of an article from Butterfly Gardener magazine: Caterpillar Food Plant: Partridge Pea

Importance as a butterfly nectar source:
A good nectar source that also attracts many pollinators in addition to butterflies.

Importance as a caterpillar food source:

Cloudless Sulphur, Sleepy Orange, and Little Yellow caterpillars all use Partridge Pea as a food source. All three of these butterflies range widely over the southern U.S., with Little Yellow’s range being restricted eastward.

Partridge Pea is also used as a food source by Ceraunus Blue caterpillars which are common in far southern regions, usually late in the summer; found all year long in southern Florida and the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

Gray Hairstreak caterpillars also include Partridge Pea as a caterpillar food plant in addition to countless other plants.


Cultural RequirementsNABA_DividerBar

USDA Hardiness Zone Plant annually
Bloom Period Summer to fall
Bloom Color Yellow
Plant Height 24 to 40 inches
Plant Spread 18 inches
Light Exposure Full to part sun
Soil Moisture Medium to dry
Animal/Disease Problems None


Native RangeNABA_DividerBar
Chamaecrista fasciculata







Plant RatingNABA_DividerBar
Plant rating scale ranges from 0 to 3. Plants rating 3 are the most useful for butterfly gardens. For more details on the ratings, see Native Plant Ratings

Garden Rating 2
Nectar Rating 2
Caterpillar Rating 3


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