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Fairyduster
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Calliandra eriophylla
  

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About Fairyduster (Calliandra eriophylla) Fairy Duster is a low spreading shrub which is native to deserts and arid grasslands in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas and Mexico. The flowers, which appear between late winter and late spring, have dense clusters of pale to deep pink stamens and are about 5 centimeters (2 inches) wide. Like many desert trees and shrubs, it is a member of the Fabaceae. It is in the Mimosoideae subfamily in which the long, colorful filaments of the anthers are the most attractive part of the flower. Although it is a desert plant, its water requirements are higher. It is typically found where there is some subsurface water year-round. This species should not be confused with Calliandra californica, a Baja endemic with deep red flowers, which is more commonly available in the horticultural trade.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Shrub

Max. Height
3 ft (0.9 m)

Max. Width
3 ft (0.9 m)

Form
Rounded

Fragrance
None

Growth Rate
Slow

Dormancy
Evergreen

Leaves
Opposite, pinnately compound, blue-green in color

Flower Color
Pink

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter


Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
Sandy washes, slopes, mesas

Sun
Sun

Elevation ?
304' - 3881'

Annual Precip. ?
3.2" - 14.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.65" - 2.15"

Coldest Month ?
46.8° F - 64.4° F

Hottest Month ?
73.7° F - 88.0° F

Humidity ?
3.97 vpd - 39.92 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sandy or decomposed granite soil

Soil Texture
Sand, Sandy Loam

Soil PH
6.0 - 8.0

Drainage
Fast

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 25° F

Companion Plants
Desert Willow, California Fan Palm, Desert Lavender, Creosote Bush, Ocotillo, Jojoba, Blue Paloverde, White Bursage, Chuparosa, Barrel Cactus, Brittlebush, Indigo Bush, Apricot Mallow, Opuntia spp, numerous annual wildflowers

Wildlife Attracted
Hummingbirds, insects

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Low
Moderate - High


Popularity
Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
3x/month
No Summer Water
1x/month
2x/month
3x/month
1/week
Keep moist


Mulch
Inorganic

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Scarify or soak in tap water 12-24 hrs.

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
False Mesquite


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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