Calliandra calothyrsus Meisn.
Calliandra confusa, Anneslia calothyrsa, Anneslia confusa, Anneslia similis, Feuilleea calothyrsa
Color: Purple or red
Bloom Time: It can flower throughout the year but usually has a peak flowering period three months before the onset of the dry season
Calliandra calothyrsus is a small tree or a large shrub that usually grows 13.1 to 20 feet (4 to 6 m) tall but might reach 40 feet (12 m) under favorable conditions. Stems are up to 1 foot (30 cm) in diameter. The bark is blackish-brown. The canopy is dense with alternate, petiolate, and bipinnately compound leaves, up to 1 foot (30 cm) long, folding together at night. It has both superficial and deep-growing roots. While the above-ground parts are only short-lived, the roots can sprout up to 20 years. The flowers are subterminal inflorescences with many long, hair-like, purple or red stamens. Flowering starts 3 to 6 months after planting.
How to Grow and Care
Powder Puff plants are not especially difficult to grow indoors, but it can be tricky coaxing them to bloom. They prefer regular moisture, high humidity, bright light, and high temperatures. In the absence of these conditions, they will not grow as vigorously and will likely not bloom at all. You'll probably have more success if you have a conservatory or sunroom.
Powder Puffs are not especially susceptible to pests but will sometimes suffer from infestations of mealybugs, aphids, and mites. Signs of infestation include tiny webs on plants, clumps of white "powdery" residue, or visible insects on the plant. Treat infestations as soon as possible to prevent them from spreading to the rest of your collection. As always, start with the least toxic treatment option first, only progressing to more serious chemicals if your initial efforts fail.
Repot in the early spring (when you take cuttings). In their native habitat, Powder Puff plants grow into medium-sized shrubs or small trees, depending on the year-round conditions and species. Indoors, they won't become that large, but they can easily outgrow your pot and overpower the space if your plant is very healthy and thriving. To keep it smaller, only repot every other year.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Powder Puff Plants.
This species is native to the tropics of Central America, where its typical habitat is wet tropical forests or seasonally dry forests with a dry season of four to seven months, when it may become deciduous.
- Back to genus Calliandra
- Plantpedia: Browse flowering plants by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, or Origin