Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Calliandra eriophylla:

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Form: Shrub.
Leaf retention: Drought and cold deciduous.
Growth rate: Moderate.
Mature Size: One-half to three feet high and two to three feet wide. Height increases with part shade and/or water.
Flowers: Pink, powder-puff flowers vary from nearly red on the first day of bloom to nearly white with age.
Bloom: Full bloom in winter or spring, depending on local climate, then sporadically through summer into fall.
Fruit: Small seed pods, springing open unpredictably when ripe, scatter seeds.
Leaves: The compound green leaves are finely divided into two levels of leaflets (bipinnate), arranged symmetrical on both sides of their stems (pinnate), resulting in a feathery appearance. The leaves tend to fold up in cool night-time temperatures.
Stems: Light grey, crooked, many-branched, without thorns.
Roots: Nitrogen-fixing*, spreads by rhizomes, does not transplant once deep tap root established.
Wildlife: Attracts quail and other ground feeding birds. Can be browsed by critters, especially when irrigated.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Native to California through Texas and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 7b-11.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun to part shade. Usually 6" high in full sun with no supplemental water, 18" high in part shade without water.
Water once established: Once a month. Additional water improves growth.
Soil: Dry, rocky or gravelly soil, pH 6.1-8.5 (slightly acidic to alkaline). *Do not use a nitrogen fertilizer.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed. Self-seeding allows it to take over areas of disturbed or rocky soil.
Uses: Ornamental, ground cover, erosion control and soil-binding for flat areas and gentle slopes, quail attractor.

This plant is a member of the Legume family (Fabaceae). It is a tough, hardy plant and tolerates light foot traffic, as a ground cover, when grown in full sun without irrigation.

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Calliandra eriophylla: Fairyduster - flower

Calliandra eriophylla: Fairyduster - seed pods

Calliandra eriophylla: Fairyduster - leaves

Calliandra eriophylla: Fairyduster

Latest update: September, 2021
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