Seed of the Week: Pink Fairy Duster

Our mystery seeds from last week were from a pink fairy duster, Calliandra eriophylla.


Most of the year it is a small, delicate shrub, nothing to write home about.



When it “flowers” though, it is covered with showy pink fluffs. Each of those pink fibers is actually a long stamen or the male part of the flower.


The flowers produce seeds in pods. Technically they are called dehiscent pods, which means they shoot the seeds out explosively when they are mature.

You can grow new plants from the seeds, but only if you can find them.


One benefit of fairy dusters is that they lack the thorns, spines or prickles found on so many plants in the Southwest.


The flowers are also attractive to bees and butterflies.

Many people also grow their larger relative, the Baja fairy duster, Calliandra californica, which has large red flowers.

Do fairy dusters grow where you live?


  1. Joy Corcoran

    The fairy duster looks a lot like a Mimosa tree. Are they related?

  2. Roberta


    Yes, they are related. They both are members of the pea family, Fabaceae.

  3. Chris

    What time of year should we look for the seeds to collect?

  4. Roberta


    Look for the pods on the plants. Ours flower heavily in the spring (March and April), so the plants have the most seed pods in May.

  5. Chris

    I found some seeds on some plants at a local nursery. Now I need to know if there is anything special I need to do to get them to grow?

  6. Roberta


    You shouldn’t need to do anything special. Some people like to soak or nick them, but it isn’t necessary.

  7. Chris

    I soaked them for 24 hours and planted them in small pots. I’ve already had several sprout.

  8. Roberta

    Thank you for letting us know.

    Good luck!

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