Chamaecrista fasciculata (Michx.) Greene var. macrosperma (Fernald) C. F. Reed

Locations ofChamaecrista fasciculata (Michx.) Greene var. macrosperma (Fernald) C. F. Reed in Virginia

Show image without county labels


Botanical Name
Chamaecrista fasciculata (Michx.) Greene var. macrosperma (Fernald) C. F. Reed
Common Name
Marsh Patridge-pea, Marsh Senna
Cassia fasciculata Michx. var. macrosperma Fernald
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Chamaecrista fasciculata (Michx.) Greene var macrosperma (Fern.) C.F. Reed
This taxon has been somewhat controversial and not universally accepted among taxonomists. It is a putative, narrow endemic of freshwater tidal marshes along coastal rivers in Virginia and Maryland. Its large stature and large seed and pod dimensions, as well as its tidal wetland habitat, seem distinctive when compared with those of upland plants of Chamaecrista fasciculata in the region. Irwin and Barneby (1982) described an impressive amount of morphological variation within Chamaecrista fasciculata s.l. range-wide but chose not to treat var. macrosperma or any of the previously named infraspecific taxa, although they specifically mentioned that it would be interesting to see whether the morphology of the "macrosperma phase" remained stable under cultivation.
A study of this taxon is now in progress by Dr. Lisa Wallace and Pryce Norwood at Old Dominion University. Preliminary findings strongly indicate that var. macrosperma and var. fasciculata are genetically distinct (L. Wallace, pers. comm.).
Freshwater tidal marshes. Infrequent and local, but locally common at a number of sites, in the Coastal Plain; documented from the Rappahannock, Mattaponi, Pamunkey, Chickahominy, James, and Appomattox Rivers and their major tidal tributaries; a population along the wind-tidal North Landing River in Virginia Beach has tentatively been identified as this var. but needs verification.
Native Status

To save this map, right-click (control-click for Mac users) on the map and choose "Save Image As...".