Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.
Search native plant database:
Calliandra eriophylla Benth.
Pink fairyduster, Fairyduster, Mesquitilla, Mock mesquite
USDA Symbol: CAER
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Fairy-duster is a straggling, densely branched, deciduous shrub to 3 ft., though usually much shorter, with grayish-pubescent leaflets, flowers and pods. The petals of fairy duster are inconspicuous; it is the long, pink filaments of the stamens that make the showy display.
This little shrub is an inconspicuous part of the arid landscape most of the year, but in spring the exquisite clusters of flowers with their many long stamens form delicate, pink balls, giving the plant a fluffy pink appearance in full bloom. It belongs to a group of mostly tropical woody plants that includes acacias and mimosas.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
AZ , CA , NM , TX Native Distribution:
W. TX to s.e. CA & adjacent Mex. Native Habitat:
Dry, gravelly slopes & mesas USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Sun Soil Moisture:
Dry CaCO3 Tolerance:
High Heat Tolerant:
Dry, gravelly soils, neutral alkaline. Conditions Comments:
Low densely branching plant with small compound
leaves and 2 flowering balls, formed by the long pink filaments of 20 or more exerted stamens
emerging from small clustered flowers. Seeds will typically germinate without pretreatment; however, nicking will generally hasten and unify germinatation. Seedlings are fast growing and easy to move to larger containers. It prefers dry, gravelly soils in full sun but will accept partial shade althought will flower less. Though slow-growing, fairy duster is valuable as erosion control. It is extremely drought-tolerant and somewhat resistant to browsing. Tip-prune to increase density.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Works well as an informal hedge and in medians (size is well constrained). Good choice for dry desert and rock gardens with limited space. It can tolerate some shade, but will flower most profusely in full sun. Its dense root system provides erosion control.
Use Wildlife: Calliandra eriophylla is highly palatable to deer. Its flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and quail eat its seeds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Hummingbirds
Nectar Source: yes
PropagationDescription: Sow seeds when soil is warm.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Seed coats are hard and require a hot-water treatment for germination.
Commercially Avail: yes
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.
View Recommended Species page
Record Modified: 2009-02-21
Research By: DEW, JSC, RLU