Plant of the Month – December


Red Fairy Duster,
Baja Fairy Duster

Calliandra californica

Bring color and hummingbirds into your yard with Red Fairy Duster, a long-blooming, lacy-leaved evergreen shrub.

  • Plant Form: Evergreen shrub
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 5 ft. tall x 5-6 ft. wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Year-round; Heaviest bloom
    Fall – Spring (Sept – Apr)
  • Native to: Baja California, Sonora Mexico
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 20°F


Red or Baja Fairy Duster produces exotic, feather duster-like flowers made up of clusters of deep red stamens that hummingbirds can’t resist. In fact, hummingbirds are extremely territorial of Fairy Dusters to protect their year-round nectar. Its criss-crossing branches are clothed with feathery leaflets that resemble miniature ferns, and which fold closed each night. Its seed pods look like brown snow peas. Fairy Dusters are evergreen if given light water weekly or deep water once a month in dry seasons (they drop their leaves if drought- or cold-stressed). Excessive water promotes leggy growth, yellow leaves, and reduces flower display. Flowers can appear almost continually, but heaviest bloom occurs in spring and fall. Some twig damage may occur below 20°F; prune back after frost in late spring. Red Fairy Duster is great as an accent, in borders, or massed as groundcovers. Their fine-textured foliage sets off more robust plants like cacti and succulents.