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Calliandra haematocephala

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Powderpuff (Calliandra haematocephala) at Green Thumb Nursery

Powderpuff flowers

Powderpuff flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Powderpuff (Calliandra haematocephala) at Green Thumb Nursery

Powderpuff flowers

Powderpuff flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  15 feet

Spread:  8 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  9a

Other Names:  Powderpuff Tree


This is a large, multiple trunked, low branching evergreen shrub producing coppery pink new foliage that matures to dark green; large red powderpuff blooms in fall and winter, with some sporadic blooming year round; an interesting accent shrub

Ornamental Features

Powderpuff features showy red pincushion flowers with white eyes along the branches from early fall to late winter. It has attractive dark green evergreen foliage which emerges coppery-bronze in spring. The oval bipinnately compound leaves are highly ornamental and remain dark green throughout the winter.

Landscape Attributes

Powderpuff is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a mounded form. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which can make it a great accent feature on this basis alone.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds and butterflies to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Powderpuff is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Powderpuff will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It may require supplemental watering during periods of drought or extended heat. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America.

Powderpuff makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Garden  Container 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features