Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) blooms from summer through late fall, attracting mostly bees and butterflies, although ants are also attracted to its nectar glands. It is the host plant to several species of butterfly, including the gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus) and cloudless sulfur (Phoebis sennae), and its seeds are consumed by birds and other wildlife.
Partridge pea is a prolific self-seeder and is easily propagated by seed. Collect seed pods in the fall once they have turned brown and are falling from the plant. It is an excellent plant to use in disturbed areas as it tends to establish quickly. Partridge pea is also a nitrogen-fixer, so it may improve and enrich soils, allowing for the introduction of more demanding plants into your landscape.
To see partridge pea in bloom, as well as many other Florida native plants, visit the Discovery Barn garden!
(Photo by Archie Krige.)