Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Three stages and colors of partridge pea

with 8 comments

Partridge Pea Amid Dry Grasses on the Blackland Prairie 1321

The flowers of partridge pea, Chamaecrista fasciculata, are yellow, and of course the plant’s greenery is normally green. One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that while most plants turn brown as they dry out, partridge pea has a tendency to turn red. You can see all of those partridge pea colors here among the breeze-blown dry grasses on a surviving (so far) parcel of the Blackland Prairie in Pflugerville on July 16th.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 28, 2015 at 5:31 AM

8 Responses

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  1. Now this is a funny coincidence. 🙂

    Steve Gingold

    August 28, 2015 at 5:40 AM

    • A perfect coincidence, we might say, because today is August 28. Ancient Greek mathematicians (who were better at arithmetic than modern Greek politicians) considered 28 a perfect number because it equals the sum of all its proper divisors: 1 + 2 + 4 + 7 + 14 = 28.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 28, 2015 at 7:28 AM

  2. Steve and Steve and in cahoots with their peas.

    Will you have a supermoon in your neck of the woods?

    Jim in IA

    August 28, 2015 at 7:03 AM

  3. It’s interesting that the reddish color so nearly resembles that shown by some of the scarlet peas I saw in Goliad. They mostly were a pretty salmon, but some were much darker. Perhaps they change color when aging, too. I looked up the scarlet pea again, and read something I’d missed before. Cutting encourages prolific blooming. Since they regularly mow the parade ground at the Presidio, that may explain why they were so thick in that spot.


    August 28, 2015 at 10:27 PM

    • Salmon is the most frequent color I see for scarlet peas here in Austin. In that species the shades of red are in the flowers, but with partridge pea the red I had in mind comes from the leaves (and somewhat from the stems) when the plant dries out; the next post will make that clear. It’s interesting that cutting encourages prolific blooming in the species. The parcel of prairie where I photographed these partridge peas on July 16th didn’t appear to have been mowed any time recently, something that I think worked in my favor, though I don’t know if the partridge pea plants would otherwise have bloomed more prolifically. There were plenty of blooms already.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 28, 2015 at 10:39 PM

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