Chamaecrista fasciculata (Michx.) Greene
This annual plant is native to North America. It prefers open woods, praries, meadows, and plains. It colonizes disturbed areas quickly, and thrives on poor soils.
Plants: Up to 31" (80 cm) in size. Stems are light green, becoming reddish brown over time.
Leaves: Alternate, pinnate-compound leaves. Each leaf hs 8-18 pairs of narrow leaflets that are linear or oblong and up to ⅝" (1.7 cm) long. Leaves often fold together when touched, hence the name “sensitive pea.”
Flowers: Bright yellow flowers are up to 1" (2.5 cm) across, with five petals that don’t quite match in size and shape. Each flower has 10 reddish stamens, and the base of some petals is bright red. Flowers appear from early summer to until the first frost. The flower’s greenish-yellow anthers produce pollen. It also has purple anthers that produce food pollen
Fruits: Narrow, flattened, dehiscent seed pods that are 2½ ⨉ ¾" (6.3 ⨉ 1.9 cm).
Chamaecrista fasciculata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 8 Sep 2023.