Chamaecrista fasciculata

Chamaecrista fasciculata

Chamaecrista fasciculata (Partridge Pea) is a species of legume native to most of the eastern United States. It is an annual which grows to approximately 0.5 meters tall. It has bright yellow flowers from early summer until first frost, with flowers through the entire flowering season if rainfall is sufficient.

The flowers are bisexual (contain both male and female parts) although a small number of plants (less than 5%) do not produce sufficient pollen to reproduce as males (and are thus called male steriles). This phenomenon has been studied in a variety of plants as a possible evolutionary step towards dioecy (in which male and female flowers occur on separate plants).

It thrives in areas that have recently burned, but will decline in numbers in the years following a fire. It is considered an excellent choice for planting in disturbed areas, as it will quickly cover an area, preventing erosion, and decline as other plants become established. It is also grown as an ornamental or for honey production.

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