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Calliandra californica

Calliandra californica (*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales

Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Caesalpinioideae
Tribus: Ingeae
Genus: Calliandra
Sectio: C. sect. Septentrionales
Species: Calliandra californica

Calliandra californica Benth., 1844

Anneslia californica (Benth.) Britton & Rose, N.L.Britton & al. (eds.), N. Amer. Fl. 23: 59 (1928)
Feuilleea californica (Benth.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 1: 187 (1891)
Anneslia mixta Britton & Rose, N.L.Britton & al. (eds.), N. Amer. Fl. 23: 59 (1928)
Anneslia mucronulata Britton & Rose, N.L.Britton & al. (eds.), N. Amer. Fl. 23: 60 (1928)

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Northern America
Regional: Mexico
Mexico Northwest

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Bentham, G. 1844–1846. The botany of the voyage of H.M.S. Sulphur, under the command of Captain Sir Edward Belcher, R.N., C.B., F.R.G.S, etc. during the years 1836–42. 195 pp., 60 tt. Smith, Elder and Co., London. BHL Reference page. : 14, t. 11.

Additional references

Govaerts, R.H.A. 1995. World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2). 483, 529 pp. MIM, Deurne. ISBN 90-341-0852-X (issue 1) ISBN 90-341-0853-8 (issue 2). Reference page. 


Govaerts, R. et al. 2022. Calliandra californica in Kew Science Plants of the World Online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2022 October 11. Reference page. 
Hassler, M. 2022. Calliandra californica. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2022. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2022 October 11. Reference page. 2022. Calliandra californica. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 11 October 2022.
International Plant Names Index. 2022. Calliandra californica. Published online. Accessed: October 11 2022.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Calliandra californica in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
English: tabardillo, zapotillo
español: tabardillo, zapotillo, chuparosa

Calliandra californica, the Baja fairy duster, is an evergreen, woody shrub, native to Baja California, Mexico. In Spanish, the plant is also known vernacularly as tabardillo, zapotillo[2] or chuparosa.[3] The flowers, which appear in early summer, have clusters of red stamens. The shrub is usually between 0.6 and 1.8 metres in height and has bipinnate leaves. The leaves have been described as "fern-like."[4] Leaves close at night time.[5]

Calliandra californica is cold tolerant to temperatures of 22 degrees Fahrenheit,[5] though its roots will tolerate temperatures as low as five degrees Fahrenheit.[6] It grows best in full sun.[5] C. californica is very drought tolerant, needing only 10 inches of water every year.[6] However, additional watering will encourage C. californica to bloom through summer and again in the fall.[6]

Propagation of C. californica is done through "acid scarification" or vegetative cutting.[5] Seed pods from this plant look like "snow peas" and when ripe, they explode.[4] The pods are flat and about 2 inches long.[6] After ejecting seeds, the curled open pods remain attached to the plant for some time.[7]

Calliandra californica attracts both bees and hummingbirds.[5]

Along with many other legumes and leadworts (Plumbago),[8] it is a host plant for the Marine Blue caterpillar (Leptotes marina).[9]

In landscaping, it is suggested that C. californica is used in borders or foreground plantings, as an island accent or even in containers.[6]


The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, retrieved 19 June 2016
"Calliandra californica". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 7 May 2015.
"Calliandra californica". ILDIS. Legume Web. 1 November 2005. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
Meyer, Chris; Meyer, Trish. "Calliandra californica: Baja Fairy Duster". Wildscaping. Sherman Oaks Garden. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
"Calliandra californica". Arizona State University. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
Miller, George Oxford (2008). Landscaping with Native Plants of Southern California. Voyageur Press. p. 91. ISBN 9781616739492.
"Baja Fairy Duster". Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. Virginia Tech. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
"Marine Blue". Butterflies and Moths of North America. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17.
Rich Bailowitz and Jim Brock. "Southeastern Arizona" (PDF). North American Butterfly Association.

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