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Plant of the Month

Powder Puff is a member of the the family Fabaceae.  This family comprises about 200 species of plants from small shrubs to trees.  Calliandra haematocephala (the plant pictured below) is a sub-tropical plant the family of which is native to the India, Mexico, Madagascar, South America and the United States.  This species is grown as a hedge or shrub in the landscape for its powder-puff-type flowers.  Very attractive to bees and butterflies.

Powder PuffPowder Puff Bush

Plant Facts:

Common Name:  Powder Puff

Botanical Name:  Calliandra haematocephala

Family:  Fabaceae

Plant Type:  Evergreen Shrub

Origin:  India, Mexico,Madagascar, South America and the United States

Zones: 9 - 11, may be killed to the ground during unusually cold spells Zone 9 and further north.

Height:  To 15'

Rate of Growth: Fast

Salt Tolerance: Poor

Soil Requirements:  Adaptable, but prefers moist, well-drained, fertile soil.

Water Requirements: Water freely when in full growth, barely moist in winter.  Adapts to dry conditions.   Does best with moderate humidity.

Nutritional Requirements: Balanced liquid fertilizer if needed.

Light Requirements: Sun to light shade

Form:  Bush or Shrub, specimen, container or planter, can be trained as a standard or espalier.

Leaves:  2-3" -- light green

Flowers:  Mass of red stamens 3-4" in diameter.  White varieties available.  Blooms year round and best when temperatures around 80F.

Fruits: Bean-like pods.

Pests:  Aphids, Mealybugs, Spider Mites and Thorn Bugs.  Ample sunlight and free-air movement help deter harmful insects.

Uses:  Accent bush, hedge

Bad Habits: None

Cost:  $ -- reasonable

Propagation:   Large cuttings often root easily, grows very easily from seed (soak seeds first).

Sources:   The Subtropical Garden; Tropical Gardening; Betrocks FL Plant Guide bfpg.gif (10438 bytes)

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Last updated 06/03/08