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.