Common: pink fairy duster, fairy duster
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Origin: North America from southern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, eastern California (rarely distributed), Sonora and Baja California south into central Mexico at elevations above 1,500 feet.
Pronounciation: Kal-lee-AN-dra ear-ee-o-FIL-la
USDA 9-10 (arid regions only)
Landscape Use: Diminuative accent and filler shrub for desert gardens, attracts hummingbirds.
Form & Character: Open and spreading, much smaller and less luxuriant, but more wirey and delicate, than Calliandra californica.
Growth Habit: Woody, evergreen, perennial shrub, somewhat upright to spreading from base to 3 to 5 feet, vigor strongly correlated to watering frequency.
Foliage/Texture: Small pinnately-compound leaves, leaves close during night; fine texture.
Flowers & Fruits: Numerous brilliant pink pincushion flowers in terminal and axillary clusters followed by erect to upright pubescent pods to 3-inches long.
Seasonal Color: Pink flowers (sometimes white) most prevalent during spring and fall.
Light: Full sun
Soil: Tolerant, though well drained is best. Foliar chlorosis is not uncommon in soils that are chronically wet.
Watering: Water only infrequently during dry periods. Baja fairy duster can become leafless during conditions of low soil water availability.
Pruning: Rarely needs pruning because of its diminuative habit. If pruned do so infrequently by lightly and informally heading back to shape in summer. DO NOT SHEAR! EVER!
Disease and Pests: None
Additional comments: Pink fairy duster will readily hybridize with Calliandra californica so as to make seed collected from urban environments likely to have pink to red flowers on plants of various forms, sizes, and vigor. It will occasionally reseed in urban landscapes, though surprisingly not nearly as frequently as does Calliandra californica.