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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.
Common Name: Powder Puff
Botanical Name: Calliandra haematocephala
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 80°F.
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
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Last updated 06/03/08