Red Fairy Duster, Baja Fairy Duster, Flame Bush

Calliandra californica

Family: Mimosaceae
Genus: Calliandra (kal-ee-AN-druh) (Info)
Species: californica (kal-ih-FOR-nik-uh) (Info)



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

By simple layering

By air layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


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

Apache Junction, Arizona

Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Maricopa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)

Queen Creek, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tempe, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona (3 reports)

Cypress, California

Long Beach, California

Perris, California

Red Bluff, California

Reseda, California

San Leandro, California

Spring Valley, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Valley Center, California

Vista, California

Wilmington, Delaware

Henderson, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada (2 reports)

Rio Rancho, New Mexico

North Tonawanda, New York

Conway, South Carolina

Austin, Texas

Bellaire, Texas

Driftwood, Texas

El Paso, Texas

Houston, Texas

Kermit, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 6, 2017, Adrienneny from Staten Island, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Easy to grow from seed and easier to just buy an AlmostEden plant. One overwintered outside next to a fig tree I had wrapped with mulch, cardboard, tarps and planters turned upside down--lots of protection at the base anyway. It has a very slow start and probably won't make a huge impact because of that though. Still, it's fun to see a zone 9 plant come back in our 6/7 zone. I accidentally killed another which I put outside too soon in April. Since similar flowered "Nana" blooms more and a bit tougher, I think I will stick to that due to limited space.


On Jan 28, 2017, SanteeJanet from Santee, CA wrote:

Planted these shrubs in a dry bed next to our driveway. Gave them some water the first year. Haven't given them any water at all since and they have survived the severe drought we have had in eastern San Diego, CA. The plants have grown to hedge size (about 4ft. tall) and have blossoms year round. A perfect drought tolerant plant.


On Jun 15, 2015, azsilvia from Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Extreme heat tolerant, extreme drought tolerant. May be damaged by temps below 28F. Will grow back from the roots after an especially hard frost. Blossoms resemble tiny dusters in brilliant red. Blooms in spring and again after monsoons or other ample rains. A favorite of bees and other pollinators. This plant in full bloom is a beautiful sight.

Foliage may partially drop in prolonged drought. Fairy dusters do well with pruning and make good hedges or topiaries for desert areas. There are no spines or thorns.

May become invasive in desert environments by seeds bursting from dry pods and landing up to twenty feet from the mother plant then sprouting with the rains. Unwanted seedlings are best removed before the taproot forms and may be potted up at that tim... read more


On Jun 29, 2013, RonDEZone7a from Wilmington, DE (Zone 7a) wrote:

I am in Zone 7a, northern Delaware, so I have to grow this as a potted plant and bring it in during the winter. However, I have had the same plant for several years and this plant does well and flowers outside all summer, so I think it is one of the easier "Southwestern" plants to grow in the East. I have mine in a sunny location and I water it weekly if it gets dry. It responds well to occasional fertilizing. I keep mine in my greenhouse shed during the winter, where it can get close to freezing in mid-winter.


On May 2, 2011, MikeyToo from Cypress, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I irrigate my Fairy Duster with a drip system and it faithfully flowers for most of the year. Hummers and butterflies enjoy it too.


On Dec 2, 2008, RichNV from Henderson, NV wrote:

Excellent plant for xeriscaping here in the desert. It's still blooming now in early December, although the blooms will stop once it gets colder. Starts blooming in March here and will continuously if watered once a week in the heat of summer.


On Nov 30, 2005, penpen from North Tonawanda, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant is not hardy in my area so it is container grown and brought inside for the winter. I started it from seed last summer so it is yet quite small but also getting quite bushy. I am looking forward to seeing it put out its first blooms and hopefully will be able to get some nice photos. It is also another good hummingbird nectar plant.


On Oct 4, 2004, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

A little extra water in the hottest summer months will yield more blooms & foliage.


On Mar 30, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Small twisted shrub with dark pink to red puff-ball flowers in early spring, and sometimes other times of the year (can't recall when). Foliage is itty, bitty little leaves. Very drought tolerant. Narrow zone range.