Sleepingplant or partridge-pea is a slender-stemmed, 1-3 ft. annual with pinnately-compound leaves bearing many small, yellow-green leaflets which fold together when touched. Large, showy, yellow flowers arise from leaf axils. Each flower is marked with red and is followed by a narrow pod.
This wildflower provides bright summer color, and the flowers attract bees and butterflies. Seed pods are eaten by gamebirds and songbirds, and the plant provides excellent cover for gamebirds and browse for deer. Leaves collapse when touched, giving rise to the common name Sensitive-plant. Like other members of the pea family, Partridge-pea requires the presense of microorganisms that inhabit nodules on the plants root system and produce nitrogen compounds necessary for the plants survival.