Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Flowering of the Partridge Pea

There is an event I look forward to every year near the end of summer, and that is the flowering of the Partridge Peas.

field of partridge peas
There is a field not too far from my house that is turned into a field of yellow every year from the large amounts of these flowers.


The flowers are beautiful up close as well.


I knew them as 'Sensitive plants', which they are often called because the leaves will close when touched.  

To me, the individual plants actually look slightly gangly and weedy, 


but en masse, there is no doubt that the effect is stunning.


After the flowers, the plant produces long seed pods, which prove its membership in the pea family.


This field of Partridge Pea plants is actually for sale for development, so it is mowed every so often, cutting down the taller plants that might crowd out and shade the sun-loving Partridge Peas.


This native annual blooms from mid-summer to fall and is valuable to a number of wildlife.  The bees and butterflies love the flowers, and the seed pods are eaten by birds.  Stands of this plant are an important source of food and cover for game birds, which is most likely why it's called a Partridge Pea. It is also the host for several sulphur butterflies.  (Karin over at Southern Meadows has some great pictures of caterpillars on her Partridge Pea plant.)  


I rather hope that no one buys this field.  I drive by it almost every day, and if it was a group of buildings instead of a field of yellow, 
I would most certainly miss it.


15 comments:

  1. like them....I always get them comfused with rapeseed

    ReplyDelete
  2. This brings back memories for me. When I was a schoolgirl, there was a garden that I walked past daily. It had a sensitive plant in it, parts of it reaching through to the sidewalk part of the fence. I would stop every day and pet that plant. I loved seeing its leaves curl up. Now that I am older, I never see these. I love the field of them! Just gorgeous! I would have to run through it every day just to see all the leaves curl up!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I loved tem too I wish I had one for my grandaughter to "pet"

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow what a lot of them! So gorgeous! One benefit of a poor economy is property isn't moving so quickly. Hopefully, you will have more years to enjoy this field of yellow! Thanks for the shout out! I hope I can get more to grow in my garden next year.

    ReplyDelete
  5. WOW! If I lived near of a field of these I'd want to just keep touching & making their leaves close. Have seen a tiny houseplant before that does the same thing in a garden centre & I just stood there & made them all close...and then legged it!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. How wonderful to see an entire field of them! My son planted one from seed many years ago, and t was fun to watch it grow, develop, and then curl up when we touched the leaves. A fun and stunning plant!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Such a beautiful sight! How sad that it is endangered to development. The wildlife will miss it most of all!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I remember seeing these as a child but not around here lately. I will have to investigate this wonderful plant...just stunning.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a lovely plant--I think the foliage is interesting, too. I agree this field of yellow is so much prettier to look at than a bunch of buildings!

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is such a pretty plant at this time of year. They look great en mass.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Maybe the new owner can keep some around for the local critters and bees.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I never heard of those flowers. Thank you for sharing. A field of those beautiful yellow flowers this time of year is a treat indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have never noticed this native before. I love plants in the pea family and the yellow flowers are stunning. I will have to keep my eyes open now that you have introduced it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Reminds me of the fields of rape seed oil plants which grow here in Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Indie, beautiful view of yellow field! Interesting that the leaves curl up!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...