Red powder puff (Calliandra haematocephala) profile

Written by Maggie

Mar 25 2021

Red powder puff (Calliandra haematocephala) profile

Red Powder Puff (Calliandra Haematocephala) belongs to the leguminous family and the deciduous shrub or small tree of the genus Red Powder Puff; Branches are extended, branchlets brown, scabrous. Stipules are ovate-lanceolate, persistent.Inflorescences axillary, with 25-40 flowers, pedicels 1-3.5 cm long; Calyx is green; Corolla is lavender red, apex lobes glabrous; The stamens protrude outside the corolla, the stamens are white, there are diamond-like appendage in the tube mouth, and the filaments are dark red. Pod is linear-oblanceolate, dark brown, dehiscent along sutures from apex to base at maturity, petal outward inverted; Seeds are oblong, brown.

China, Taiwan, Fujian, Guangdong have introduced red powder puff for ornamental. Red powder puff is native to South America, now tropical, subtropical areas often cultivated.The flowers are very beautiful.

Red powder puff picture

Red Powder Puff

Morphological characteristics of red powder puff


Red powder puff is a deciduous shrubs or small tree, 1-3 m high; Branches are extended, branchlets cylindrical, brown, scabrous.


Stipules of Red Powder Puff are ovate-lanceolate, persistent. Pinnate compound leaves, total petiole 1-2.5 cm long; Pinnae 1 pair, 8-13 cm long; Leaflets are 7-9 pairs, observe-lanceolate, 2-4 cm long and 7-15 mm wide, larger in middle upper part, smaller in lower part, apex obtuse and apiculate, base oblique, margin sparsely pubescent; Midvein is slightly inclined to upper margin; Petioles are only 1 mm long.


The head of Red Powder Puff is axillary, about 3 cm in diameter (with filaments), with about 25-40 flowers, and the total pedicel is 1-3.5 cm long. Calyx is campanulate, ca. 2 mm, green; Corolla tubes are 3.5 -- 5 mm long, lavender red, apically 5-lobed, lobes reflexed, ca. 3 mm long, glabrous; The stamen protrudes beyond the corolla, very conspicuous, the stamen tube ca. 6 mm long, white, with a diamond-like appendage in the tube mouth, the upper free filaments ca. 2 cm long, dark red.


Pod of Red powder puff is linear-oblanceolate, 6 -- 11 cm long and 5 -- 13 mm wide, dark brown, dehiscent along sutures from apex to base at maturity, petals inverted;Seeds 5-6, oblong, 7-10 mm long, ca. 4 mm wide, brown.

The ecological habits of red powder puff

Red Powder Puff is a tropical flower that likes a warm, humid and sunny environment and is not cold resistant. It requires a deep soil layer and good drainage.

Red Powder Puff is fond of light and warm and humid climate, and is suitable for growing in deep, fertile and well-drained acidic soil.

How to grow and care for red powder puff

Size and growth 

The red powder puff grows quickly, attaining six ft tall with a three-foot spread. The small tree has darkish inexperienced mimosa trees like compound leaves, with 5 to 10 pairs of leaves per stem.

In its native region, it can attain 15’ ft tall.

In cultivation, most humans trim this tropical plant to manipulate the height, specifically when grown in pots.


The red powder puff is the primary appeal and the purpose for the name.

The red powder puff bushes bloom in the wintry weather with showy flora containing many stamens. Each purple flower looks like a fuzzy puffball.

The most famous sorts produce pinkish-red flowers, however there are additionally white varieties.

While the plant life is desirable and unique, they don’t produce a major fragrance.

Light and temperature

For out of doors planting, USDA hardiness zones 9 to eleven are recommended. It’s now not tolerant to frost and may additionally begin to sag if left in cool temperatures.

Red powder puff is regularly grown in South Florida and different warm, humid regions. Outside of these areas, the plant may additionally freeze for the duration of the winter.

The red powder puff wishes full solar or very mild partial shade, whether or not grown indoors or outdoors. Place as indoor residence plant life close to a window, even at some stage in the winter.

Watering and fertilizer

In the spring, begin watering the plant regularly. As the temperatures develop chillier in the fall, begin limiting the frequency of watering.

Once hooked up red powder puff are drought tolerant.

Apply liquid fertilizer all through the developing season or a balanced granular fertilizer as the climate starts off evolved to heat in spring. Fertilizer is now not crucial in the course of the winter.

Soil and transplanting

Use ordinary well-drained soil, and peat moss, leaf mold, or compost to enhance drainage and the pleasant of the soil.

Repot red powder puff every 12 months in the spring. Use the equal soil recommendation.

Only cross powder puffs to large pots if the plant outgrows its modern container.

It’s high-quality to groom when repotting the plant. The pruning can additionally be used for propagation.

Red Powder Puff

Red powder puff propagation

Cutting propagation

Red Powder Puff is generally propagated by cuttings, which can be carried out by cutting sturdy branches with a length of 20 cm in spring, and the temperature of the cuttings should be kept at 15 ~ 28℃. Cutting should be cut without aging and full tissue of 1~2 years old branches, each section of about 15~500px, inserted in the wet sand bed, shading or full light spray.

Seed propagation

Seed was collected in autumn, and the seeds were dried and stored until the following spring sowing. Seed was soaked in hot water at 60℃ before sowing, and the water was changed once a day. The seeds were taken out on the third day to moisturize and accelerate germination for a week, and germinated 5-7 days after sowing. Pruning the side branches in time to ensure the trunk straight. Transplanting should be carried out before bud initiation, but the tree should be transplanted with a support to prevent wind blowing down. In winter, furrow fertilizer around the trunk once.

Disease & pest control of red powder puff

Disease control

The disease mainly has canker disease.

Method of prevention and cure

It can be sprayed with 800 times 50% antifungal liquid.

Pest control

The insect pest has longicorn and psyllid harm.

Method of prevention and cure

1kg of kerosene and 50g of 80% dichlorvos emulsion were used to kill longicorn, and 1500 times of 40% diethoate emulsion was used to kill wood lice.

The distribution area of red powder puff

Red Powder Puff is introduced in Taiwan, Fujian and Guangdong of China and cultivated for ornamental use.

Red Powder Puff originated in South America and is often cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas.

The garden use of red powder puff

Red powder puff is a beautiful and slightly fragrant flower, long flowering period, fast growth, for a good ornamental and nectar source plants, in the tropical, subtropical areas widely cultivated. Wood is hard and can be used as farm tools; Bark contains tannin; Root bark decocted with water can treat indigestion; Flower buds, young leaves, and young fruits are edible.

Red Powder Puff has gorgeous flowers and is an excellent tree species for flower observation and is suitable for planting in green gardens. Red Powder Puff is a lovely flower shrub with bright green leaves and bright Red flowers that resemble ponges. It is of high ornamental value and has many varieties for gardening.Possible pot plant, park afforestation layout, in Shanghai area greenhouse grow well. Tree shape graceful posture, elegant leaf shape, summer flannelette full of trees, colored incense, can form a soft and comfortable atmosphere, suitable for court shade trees, street trees, planted in the edge of the forest, in front of the house, lawn, hillside and other places. Red powder puff is a street tree, court shade tree, afforestation and garden ornament ornamental tree. The crown of Acacia is wide, with green shade in summer, and the pinnately compound leaves open at night and day. It is very strange, and the pink velvet flowers bloom in summer, which is very beautiful. Red powder puff is suitable for spreading plants by the pool, waterfront, river bank and stream.

Red Powder Puff