Fairy Duster

Calliandra eriophylla

Fairy Duster Wildflower

The fairy duster is a low, densely branched shrub 8 to 48 inches high. The leaves are formed by 2-to-4 pairs of 1/4-inch, oblong leaflets. It is a member of the Pea Family (Fabaceae) which includes acacias and mimosas.


Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts of southern California to southwestern New Mexico and northern Mexico.


Open hillsides, sandy desert washes and slopes below 5,000 feet.


Each light pink to orange puff contains many flowers and is up to 2 inches in diameter. The flowers are darker toward the center, from which the long stamens radiate. The fairy duster can bloom year round, but usually blooms February through May.

Fairy Duster

This thornless, perennial shrub provides food to many desert animals, birds and insects. Fairy dusters are also called:

  • Calliandra
  • False Mesquite
  • Mesquitilla
  • Hairy-leaved Calliandra


Desert Plant & Wildflower Index



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