Partridge Pea in the Butterfly Garden


One plant that I rarely see in a “formal” garden is Partridge Pea. It’s scientific name is Chamaecrista fasciculata. Even the Missouri Botanical Garden doesn’t seem to grow this plant, which is a shame.

In St. Louis, the Cloudless Sulphur seems to favor this native host plant. Other butterflies like the orange sulphur and the sleepy orange may also use it as a host plant.

The variety I uses grows to about four feet tall since it’s in competition with some other aggressive growers like verbena bonareinsis.  It’s an annual which will easily re-seed itself every year so make sure you put it in a location that can take all the new seedlings. In mid-August it’s an appreciated splash of yellow color when it’s in between the early blooming flowers and the fall bloomers.

I’ve got it in a sunny location and it does well there.

I recently counted twenty-two eggs in one section of the garden. They start out white and then turn yellow.

Below is a picture of a Cloudless Sulphur nectaring on Salvia- Lady in Red – one of their favorites.




Filed under Butterfly, Host Plant

3 responses to “Partridge Pea in the Butterfly Garden

  1. April Winkelmann

    Well the butterfly season is getting better. I have black swallowtail catepillars and spicebush ones also. Partridge Pea is one plant I don’t have here, but I did have

    it Florida. I am still figuring out what plants are best here and where to purchase them. I am happy that your garden is so wonderful for the butterflies.


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