Legume Family (Fabaceae : Chamaecrista)
Latin Name: Chamaecrista fasciculata
Livestock Although partridge pea foliage is nutritious, it can be poisonous and should be considered potentially dangerous to cattle.
Partridge pea is a warm season, native, reseeding annual legume. This 1 to 4 foot plant has several branches that grow both erect and prostrate, forming dense stands. “Comanche” variety is more widely adapted than other varieties of partridge peas. It grows well in several soil types, but favors sandy to sandy loams. Rainfall of 19 inches or more improves growth. During the growing season from July to September, plants are covered with showy yellow pea type flowers. Seed pods are dark brown, flat, and pea shaped having 10 to 20 seeds per pod. Leaves are dark green. Partridge Pea is often used for area stabilization and reclamation. Game birds especially benefit from the food and cover provided. Livestock do not graze as readily as they do other plants which makes Partridge Peas suited for erosion control. Being a legume, Partridge Pea will fix nitrogen in the soil that will help stimulate growth of grass. Planting should be in a weed free, firm seedbed in the spring. Seed should be drilled 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep at a rate of approximately 13 pure live seed pounds per acre.