Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Partridgepea: Cassia fasciculata

partridgepea4-18.jpg (87536 bytes) Weed Description:  Summer annual with divided leaves that consist of 8 to 15 pairs of oppositely arranged leaflets and relatively large yellow flowers. Partridgepea is primarily a weed of pastures, hayfields, roadsides, rights-of-way, and other noncrop areas.  Partridgepea may be found throughout the eastern half of the United States.
Seedling: Large round cotyledons usually with three distinct white veins.  Cotyledons are without hairs.  First true leaf is divided into two rows of leaflets that are arranged oppositely from one another (pinnately compound).
Leaves:   All leaves are divided into two rows of 8 to 15 leaflet pairs that are arranged oppositely from one another (pinnately compound).   Each leaflet is linear to oblong in outline, approximately to 1 inch long by 2 to 4 mm wide.  All leaflets occur on a petiole and a distinctive gland occurs on the underside of the petiole below the first leaflet pair.

Stems:  Branching only rarely, hairy, and can reach 3 feet in height.

Roots: Taproot.

Flowers:   Arise from the position between the petiole and the stem (leaf axils).  Flowers consist of 5 bright yellow petals and have some red mottling.  Flowers are approximately 1 inch wide and occur on long (10 to 25 mm) flower stalks (pedicels).
Fruit:   A legume that is linear in outline, approximately 1 to 3 inches long and 4 to 6 mm wide.  Each legume contains 4 to 20 seed.
Identifying Characteristics: Showy yellow flowers and leaves that are divided into 8 to 15 pairs of oppositely arranged leaflets.   Also, the gland that occurs on the petiole below the first leaflet pair helps to distinguish this weed from other weeds with pinnately compound leaves.