Partridge Pea
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Partridge Pea
aturalized Photo: Shaista Ahmad
Common name: Partridge Pea, Sensitive partridge pea, Sensitive pea, Wild Sensitive Plant
Botanical name: Chamaecrista nictitans    Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family)
Synonyms: Cassia lechenaultiana, Cassia aeschinomene, Chamaecrista aeschinomene

Partridge Pea is an annual herb which can reach 50cm in height. The stems of some varieties are densely hairy with long trichomes others are smooth. The compound leaves are alternateely arranged on the stem. Each leaf is divided into up to twenty-five pairs of narrow oblong leaflets with small spines on the tips. There is a stalked gland on the petiole just below the last pair of leaflets. The size and shape of the gland is a character in determining the variety. The leaves sometimes fold when disturbed, hence the common name sensitive plant. Flowers are yellow, irregular in shape and are up to 1.4cm across. Blooms first appear in mid spring and continue into early fall. The lower petal is much larger and more spreading than the others. Partridge Pea is often found in dry, often sandy soil in open areas, and also disturbed sites.

Identification credit: Sankara Rao Photographed in Hebbal Campus, Bangalore.

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