Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

CALLIANDRA haematocephala

Image of Calliandra haematocephala

Mark A. Miller

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

CALLIANDRA haematocephala

Plant Common Name

Powder Puff Tree, Stickpea

General Description

Powderpuff tree puts on its show in fall and winter, blooming with distinctive magenta-red flowers. A native of Bolivia, this evergreen, large shrub or small tree is fast growing, attaining a rounded to sprawling habit with long, arching branches.

The fine-textured leaves are compound, made up of five to ten pairs of small oval leaflets that are coppery pink when young and mature to green. This plant can flower anytime year round, but blooms most when days are short, from fall to spring. The buds open up to long red stamens with a white base, gathered in a round puffball. The flowers attract butterflies.

Grow powderpuff tree in full sun and well-drained soil with average or poor fertility. It will be knocked back by hard freezes, but readily rejuvenates like a perennial from the roots. Use it as a fast-growing screen or background plant in the mixed tropical border. If a tree is desired, remove the lowest branches early on when the plant is young. It can also be trained into an impressive espalier. The cultivar 'Alba' is white flowering, and the much smaller-sized cultivar 'Nana' is particularly useful as a houseplant in colder regions, or as a foundation plant or mixed border shrub in frost-free areas.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 12

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    6'-20' / 1.8m - 6.1m

  • Width

    8'-22' / 2.4m - 6.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring, Late Fall, Early Winter, Winter, Late Winter

  • Native To

    South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Red, Magenta

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green, Pink, Copper

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light 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

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes