Calliandra haematocephala
Common Name: powder puff tree 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Fabaceae
Native Range: Bolivia
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Red
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-11 where it is best grown in moist, fertile soils in full sun. Likes high humidity. Tolerates wide range of soils including somewhat poor ones. Keep soils consistently moist. For the St. Louis area, grow in containers that should be overwintered indoors in a bright cool sun room or greenhouse.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Calliandra haematocephala, commonly called red powder puff, is an evergreen shrub or small tree native to Bolivia. It was formerly included in the legume or pea family, but has recently been shifted into the mimosa family. It typically grows 10-15’ tall in its native habitat and is a very popular flowering shrub in central and southern Florida where it will survive year-round in the ground. Bipinnately compound leaves (5-10 pairs of leaflets per pinna) open copper-pink but mature to dark green. Raspberry-like flower buds open to hemispherical red powder puff flower heads (to 3” across) consisting of masses of scarlet stamens. Blooms primarily in fall and winter, but sporadic additional bloom may occur throughout the rest of the year. Variations in flower color exist, with some pink and white forms being available.

Genus name comes from the Greek words kalli- meaning beautiful and aner or andros meaning male, hence a stamen in reference to the flower's many stamens.

Specific epithet means blood-red head in reference to the flowers.


No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for caterpillars, spider mites and aphids.


Container plant. Houseplant.