Scientific Name: Chamaecrista nictitans ssp. nictitans var. nictitans

Common Name: sensitive partridge pea

Other Common Names: wild sensitive senna

Synonyms: Cassia aspera var. mohrii, Cassia nictitans, Chamaecrista mohrii, Chamaecrista multipinnata, Chamaecrista nictitans var. hebecarpa, Chamaecrista nictitans var. leiocarpa, Chamaecrista procumbens

Habit: Annual errect forb that can reach 10 to 50 cm in height.

Leaves: Has pinnately compound, sensitive leaves with a slender stalk. Has an umbrella shaped gland below the lowest pair of leaflets that is much wider than the slender stalk. Around 20-36 leaflets per leaf and each leaflet is around 6 to 15 mm long and 1-5 mm wide. Small spine at the tip of the leaflets.

Identifying Characteristics: Forb with a tap root, without hair on stems usually, and compound leaves with bright yellow flowers.

Flower Seed Head: Has axillary, solitary flowers that are in a short raceme and bright yellow. Petals are not of equal size. The lowermost petal is about 2 times or more longer than the other 4.

Seed Fruit: Straight narrow seed pod that can be 0.5 to 2.5 inches long.

Where Found: It is native to the USA and can be found all along the east coast, west to Arizona, and north to Wisconsin. It is found in thickets, roadsides, along ponds and bodies of water, and disturbed areas.

  • Life cycle: summer annual

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Fabaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate

  • Leaf shape: oval; triangle

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: entire

  • Stem hairs: no hairs; has hairs

  • Flower color: yellow

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: pinnate

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs

  • Flower diameter: larger; quarter; half dollar

  • Flower symmetry: not symmetrical

  • Root structure: taproot

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf; none