13 June 2014

Evergreen tree from the tropical regions of the Americas.

Calliandra surinamensis
Calliandra tenuiflora
  • Surinam Powder Puff
  • Pink Powder Puff
  • Surinamese Stickpea
  • Officiers-kwast
  • Pink Poodle

Origin: Surinam

Showy pink flowers, like a powderpuff, are bright pink
 on the surface and pale pink to white inside

 Calliandra surinamensis is a low branching evergreen tropical shrub that is named after Surinam, a country in Northeastern South America. The plant usually has branched or multiple trunks and grows to a height of about 15 feet. Left unpruned it grows long thin branches that eventually droop down onto the ground, the bees love it. The flowers appear on and off all year - more during warm weather. This tree is an excellent container plant for the cooler climates where it must be protected from frost and freeze. The puffball blooms attract honey bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The leaves close overnight. Exposure to the sun encourages flowering. From spring to autumn growth is intense and it uses a lot of water. In winter water consumption is moderate. Calliandra does not like soggy soils. 

white, fan-shaped artist's brushes
dipped into deep pink paint

The flower buds are.like little rounded berry clusters

The seed pods are red then green
and turns brown and dry when mature.

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds direct sow immediately. Flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies and birds. Surinam powder puff has dense foliage and is a fast grower. A flat pod, first green later brown, contains 5 - 6 seeds; it curls open to release the brown seeds. 

Calliandra surinamensis

Calliandra surinamensis
seedlings @ 1 year

This plant is cultivated for its ornamental purposes; it can also be used for bonsai. Much energy is spent  in the production of flowers and fruit; after flowering don't let the seeds mature if trained as a bonsai. Calliandra is a cold sensitive plant and must be protected from frost and freezing. 

Fertilize with nitrogen - phosphorus - potassium and micro-nutrients for plant health. Fertilizers rich in phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) encourage flowers and fruiting while nitrogen (N) encourages leaf growth. 

Calliandra surinamensis-DSC7941
A low branching shrub or small tree with multiple trunks

Calliandra surinamensis (4)
flat pod, first green later brown, contains 5 - 6 seeds;
it curls open to release the brown seeds.


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