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CALLIANDRA californica

Image of Calliandra californica

Audrey, Eve and George DeLange

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

CALLIANDRA californica

Plant Common Name

Baja Fairyduster, Flame Bush, Tabardillo

General Description

Baja fairyduster is a delicate-looking, bright-colored, evergreen shrub for very hot, dry desert gardens. It demands a frost-free climate and plenty of direct sun. It is native to sandy washes and rocky slopes of the dry cape regions of Baja California and Sonora, Mexico. The plant is thorny and deer-resistant. Branching is open and the narrow arching twigs are studded with soft fern-like, compound leaves.

This shrub blooms after the rainy season, whether spring or summer. Blooms may also appear after unseasonable rain storms. The flowers are beautiful powder puffs of bright red filaments that stand in holiday contrast against the green leaves. Hummingbirds find them irresistible.

This shrub typically is sited in open, desert landscape for contrasts of form and texture with larger cacti and succulents. Baja fairyduster may also be grouped with other colorful heat-loving plants such as lantana to fill-in open landscapes that have drip irrigation.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 7

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 14

  • Sunset Zone

    10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Width

    4'-5' / 1.2m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Fall

  • Native To

    Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No