Partridge Pea (Minnesota Ecotype)
Improvement status: Wild
Seeds per packet: ~40
BOTANICAL SAMPLE - NOT GERMINATION TESTED
Life cycle: Annual
Partridge pea is an annual eastern North American native legume with pretty yellow flowers beloved by native bees — and also an excellent honey plant. Extrafloral nectaries attract other beneficial insects. It's frequently found growing by roadsides and other waste areas as it's a classic pioneer species. Its excellent nitrogen fixing capabilities make it a good nurse crop for other species, and it doesn't prevent their establishment given its short stature (rarely higher than a foot and a half). If you're working to restore a native landscape, or merely revegetating cleared land after a burn or a major construction or logging project, partridge pea is well worth considering. It's also an important food for bobwhite quails, which have become threatened (if they haven't already been extirpated) across their historic range.
Our seed came from our friend Sara Nelson in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
GROWING TIPS: To achieve best germination rates, pour nearly-boiling water over the seeds then soak for 12-24 hours. After this mix seeds with moist sand and store in the fridge for 10 to 20 days before planting. You could plant in fall or winter too. Sprinkling a bit of EL-type Rhizobium inoculant will apparently aid in both germination and subsequent growth. Give each plant plenty of room, as they will drop seeds and spread in subsequent years.