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Powder Puff Plant / Tree

Powder Puff Plant / Tree

​​Calliandra haematocephylla alba

  • Common name: White Powder Puff
  • Scientific name: Calliandra haematocephylla alba
  • Family name: Leguminosae
  • Origin: South America
  • Height: 6-8 ft
  • Width: 8-12 ft
  • Growth: Moderate
  • Zone: 9-11
  • Light needs: Full sun to part shade
  • Salt tolerance: Poor
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Prefers well-drained clay, sand, or loam soil, acidic to slightly alkaline (pH 6.0-7.5)
  • Moisture: Moderate water needs – water regularly until established, then only water in dry conditions
  • Drought tolerance: High
  • Pests/Diseases: No pests and diseases are of particular concern, although mite infestations can occur
  • Growing conditions: This plant will grow best in a sunny area with sandy soil. Should be watered regularly when young; once full grown, it requires little attention and is a very low maintenance plant. Should be pruned once in a while to keep it within bounds. White Powder Puff is very heat and drought tolerant, but is susceptible to cold, which may damage it. If damaged by freezing temperatures, it will grow back from the base in the spring.
  • Characteristics: White Powder Puff is a multi-trunked, low-branching shrub. Its leaves are compound and grow in an alternate pattern – leaflets are oblong and small (less than 2 inches). Flowers are white with a distinct puffball-like appearance due its numerous, thin stamens. Seeds grow in brown, thin seed pods.
  • Propagation: By cuttings or by seed
  • Wildlife: May be used as a host plant for the statira sulphur butterfly larvae. Flowers may attract pollinators.
  • Facts: Its genus name, Calliandra, is derived from the Greek word kallos, which means beauty, and andros, which means stamen.
  • Designer considerations: The canopy formed by its foliage makes it suitable as a patio or deck plant. As a hedge, it makes a colorful and effective wind break. Its interesting and unique flowers make it a great specimen planting.


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