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Red Powder Puff

Calliandra haematocephala

Family: Mimosaceae
Genus: Calliandra (kal-ee-AN-druh) (Info)
Species: haematocephala (hee-mat-oh-SEF-uh-luh) (Info)
Synonym:Calliandra inaequilatera
View this plant in a garden



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From woody stem cuttings

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Vincent, Alabama

Tucson, Arizona

Arcadia, California

El Cajon, California

North Hollywood, California

Palm Springs, California (2 reports)

Rancho Mirage, California

Rancho Santa Margarita, California

San Diego, California (2 reports)

Spring Valley, California

Archer, Florida

Bartow, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Bonita Springs, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Clearwater, Florida

Deland, Florida

Delray Beach, Florida

Deltona, Florida (2 reports)

Eustis, Florida

Fernandina Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Georgetown, Florida

Grant, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Jupiter, Florida

Lady Lake, Florida

Lake Wales, Florida

Land O Lakes, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Miami, Florida

North Fort Myers, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Orange Park, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Palm Coast, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida (2 reports)

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Saint Cloud, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida (2 reports)

Sebastian, Florida

Sebring, Florida

Seffner, Florida

Tampa, Florida (2 reports)

Vero Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Winter Park, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Pepeekeo, Hawaii

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Waveland, Mississippi

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Baytown, Texas

Fulton, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Houston, Texas (4 reports)

Humble, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Spring, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 22, 2014, santamiller from San Antonio, TX wrote:

In my 8b zone it does best in a pot and protected from very cold weather but I have one in the ground. It gets a few hours of afternoon sun. It is one of the last plants to make an appearance in the late spring, is a slow starter and doesn't begin to get buds and bloom until mid summer, but once it does it's always spectacular. Highly recommend, especially potted for much larger plant.


On May 2, 2014, chrisdiamond from Jupiter, FL wrote:

Great plant here in S. Florida. Mainly seen as a large shrub. I bought 3 5x5 box trellised espaliers for a client for a small courtyard area I re-did. Gets about 2-3 hours of direct sun in winter andd about 4-5 in summer. The wiring was done to about 10-12 ft on this wall and in 4 months the 3 Calliandras are 90% filled in. It is such a great plant. We usually never have to worry about too cold of temps in S. Florida so these are fine in the landscape year round.


On Mar 15, 2014, sc_ss from Hong Kong
Hong Kong wrote:

The Family Name of the species should be: Fabaceae
Please check

Thank you


On Dec 16, 2012, AussieClem from Sydney
Australia wrote:


On Aug 20, 2012, gardenpackrat from Tampa, FL wrote:

I am in zone 9 near Tampa, Fl. and have this plant, dwarf variety, in the ground in partial sun (am). It blooms almost nonstop and sets seed pods. The butterflies and hummingbirds love it too. It is near a window where I can enjoy the show! Some damage from cold but comes back fine. I love this plant! I have not tried propagating it from seed but am going to try.


On Aug 20, 2012, LeslieT from Bellaire, TX wrote:

I LOVE this plant. I grow it in a large container which I bring into a glass-roofed porch for winter in my Zone 9b area. If I water it with oxygenated-water (left-over from using our Lotus Sanitizing System in which we wash all our produce which is consumed raw), it blooms all winter inside! I move it outside at Easter where it gets morning sun, but afternoon shade. After a brief readjustment period, it's back in bloom. It comes in at Thanksgiving. I, therefore, get almost 12 months of bloom.


On May 20, 2012, sunkissed from Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I'm updating my review for this plant. This is the larger of the Powder puff's which I have both the Dwarf, and this plant. They are different and this larger doesn't start blooms until the winter, usually around December. This plant grows very tall and spreads wide, but will not tolerate below freezing temps, which will burn and ruin the flowers. It does come back after a hard freeze. I do have the smaller "Dwarf" powder puff and it blooms pretty much all year around. So if you want blooms all year, you need to look for the dwarf (Nana). Although the flowers on the large are so much more beautiful and if we have a mild winter it is spectacular in the garden. I wouldn't grow it any more north than zone 9b, or you'll be disappointed to lose the flowers when we get a cold snap.


On Apr 29, 2012, silverlaker from Palm Springs, CA wrote:

I had never had one of these plants - and at the house I bought in Palm Springs (abandoned, scorched earth thanks to a year long foreclosure) there were two scraggly bushes.

In one year they have shot up to over ten feet in height and they are absolutely stunning.

The one thing I'd love to do is grow more of them as a hedge.
Does anyone know how to propagate this plant?

Thank you.


On Apr 22, 2012, HappyGardenerWI from Eau Claire WI & The Villages FL, WI (Zone 9a) wrote:

In zone 9a, the shrub grows to about 6' and flowers profusely from mid-summer through the first freeze. It freezes to the ground but begins growing from the roots in March and reaches blooming size quickly. The flowers are a glorious red and attract butterflies.


On Apr 19, 2012, theplayfulkitty from Winter Park, FL wrote:

A great buy of 3 bedraggled reduced specimens from a Home Depot. They have survived several hard frosts, and when they start blooming, it's nonstop. I keep them pruned to about 3' and they look great in a grouping of mixed height and colored perennials.


On Feb 6, 2012, margiew from Mataranka
Australia wrote:

I have a large old red powder puff. I have cut it back hard and it grew profusely and flowered all year. This year however there are no seeds forming after the flower is spent. I have grown some from seeds previously, no luck from cuttings. Can anybody tell me why. I live in a hot subtropical climate.


On Jan 3, 2012, jjb2408 from Marinette, WI wrote:

i bought this plant as a house plant noticed it losing it leaves since i have brought it in for the winter but then after looking at it closer it looks as though it has some type of bug there are little white web looking areas not sure how to treat it hoping not to lose the plant i just love it....wondering if anyone would have a suggestion


On Aug 14, 2011, pniksch from Frisco, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Great plant for a trellis.


On Sep 10, 2010, moydokes from Waveland, MS wrote:

I purchased this plant about 4 months ago at a garden center in Houston and planted it in my yard (Waveland, MS). It was blooming when I bought it, and hasn't stopped since. I'm truly amazed! I have never owned a plant before that bloomed so profusely and continuously.


On Jul 22, 2010, HolyChickin from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

When I was a child, our next door neighbor had one of these trees. It was in the corner of their yard and some of the tree hung over into our yard. I remember playing under it and marveling at it's pretty red puffs.

It's such a beautiful tree... it also attracts lots of butterflies. Can't wrong with this one!


On Jun 13, 2010, digforrestdig from West Palm Beach, FL wrote:

When the government took 4 feet of our yard for the new sidewalk they planted these between the walk and fence. They have yet to really take off, but are looking healthy. The govt. tried growing a smaller less mature batch of Puffs before, but they all died because they planted them in Winter and there was no rain. I was hoping they were going to at least plant natives, but every1 so loves this tree maybe it will be ok....


On Jun 16, 2009, movewithmel from Houston, TX wrote:

I live in Houston, TX, Zone 9, and bought this almost a year ago, maybe in the fall. It reminded me of a mimosa, and our neighbor had just cut his down. To him, it was invasive. To us, it was the great view out our dining window. The powder puff bush has grown at a rapid pace, and looks super healthy, but I have never, ever had a bloom. The tag on it when I bought it showed a pink flower, so I'm hoping it is pink, and said it was tropical. With our humidity, I thought it would thrive. Plus, I water regularly. Anyone have ideas as to why it hasn't bloomed yet, when the rest of my garden has been bursting with color since spring? It's in a sunny spot in front, so our dogs aren't eating the blooms.


On May 23, 2009, gopita from Jupiter, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Love it! Nearly every morning bees and wasps cover the playful-looking Powderpuffs bordering my front walkway, and they are covered with so many bees that the buzzing sound is distinctly audible.

There are several large shrubs/small trees about 12' and they bloom year round much to my delight. According to the notes of the previous owner of my property, the Powderpuffs are about 15-years-old.

Connie (Zone 10a)


On Jan 31, 2009, GAF9801 from Saint Cloud, FL wrote:

Zone 9 - I LOVE my powder puff bushes. Mine grow happily receiving partial afternoon sun close to my house. They get rain runoff from the roof but other than natural rainwater, they are very drought tolerant. They bloom pretty much year round and bloom more heartily when they get rain. They require little or no care and have had no noticable pest issues in 4 years of growth.


On Jul 11, 2008, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

I've this lovely tree as a container specimen. It needs winter protection here. Pot culture keep the tree relatively small for the past 2 years.


On Mar 7, 2007, Cambium from Lamar, AR (Zone 7b) wrote:

Hubby & I went to Butterfly World this last weekend & it was consistently frequented by colorful finches & butterflies.


On Jul 26, 2005, pickandplant from Deltona, FL wrote:

This is a great plant, it is tough and bug resistant and very attractive.
It is so attractive that the butterflys and hummingbirds are flitting about its puff. Some seeds have sprouted that fell and germinated under the plant, I transplanted them into potting soil and they are doing great. I am planning to try different methods of propagation to see which will be the best.


On Jun 11, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

In my borderline Zone 8b/9a climate in NE Fla, this Calliandra dies back in winter with freezing temperatures, but rebounds in the Spring and begins to bloom around May.

If you have this plant and live in a climate where it freezes, don't be too quick to prune back what looks like brown, dead, leafless stems. Leaves and flowers will emerge most of the way up the stems in the Springtime. I think it is best to wait until the flowers appear to determine what part of the plant is truly lifeless.


On Jun 10, 2005, sdlady from San Diego, CA (Zone 11) wrote:

My row of shrubs, in the ground many years, has been sheared annually into a 6' hedge after the winter bloom period is over. Planted in a dry area on the side of my house, they are truly drought tolerant, subsisting on rain water only, which in coastal San Diego averages 11 inches per year between November and April. The plentiful watermelon red blooms are charming; the new growth a lovely bronze with a graceful arching form.


On Jul 26, 2004, bjhach from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

Plant responds with lots of blooms following a good watering. However, my dogs love to eat the powder puffs and my plants don't have flowers on them for long! (FYI...They've been eating them for a year and have never had a bad reaction.)


On May 1, 2004, martina from El Cajon, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Our Calliandra in So Cal (dry climate of E of San Diego) blooms best in winter (November till April) and at that time is really covered both with blooms and their less pretty spent brown dry remnants. Hummingbirds love it and it is fun to watch them feed (I am posting a photo of one). If Calliandra does best in humidity, it has clearly shifted its blooming time here to the wettest period since during the dry hot summer and fall it does not bloom at all (I see the difference from Florida humid tropical climate). Calliandra is rapidly growing and needs pruning to keep in check.


On Jul 23, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

Theres a Red Power Puff near here that blooms constantly during the year. However, it never gets covered with flowers like other species. The folliage gives it a more smooth look than other Calliandras.


On Nov 9, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Calliandra haematocephala is a sub-tropical plant the family of which is native to the India, Mexico, Madagascar, South America and the United States. It is adaptable, but prefers moist, well-drained, fertile soil. Does best with moderate humidity. This species is grown as a hedge or shrub in the landscape for its powder-puff-type flowers. Very attractive to bees and butterflies.