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CALLIANDRA eriophylla

Image of Calliandra eriophylla

Maureen Gilmer

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

CALLIANDRA eriophylla

Plant Common Name

Fairyduster, Mock Mesquite

General Description

Grown (and named) for its delicate and unusual winter blooms, fairyduster is a low, spreading, deciduous shrub from the southwestern United States and Northwest Mexico, where it grows in dry washes and gullies at low to middle altitudes. Gray, twiggy, often sprawling stems with small, alternating, pinnately compound leaves give rise to powderpuff heads of pink stamens in late winter and early spring. Their nectar attracts hummingbirds and other polllinators. Silvery seed pods follow the flowers. The leaves fall in summer.

This sun-loving shrub does best in well-drained soil and thrives in hot arid climates. It is lovely in native plantings, contrasting in form and texture with larger cacti and succulents. It also works well in the border and cottage garden in combination with other colorful heat lovers such as lantana.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

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

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    1'-3' / 0.3m - 0.9m

  • Width

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Southwestern United States, Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Silver

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier, Tropical, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No