Calliandra haematocephala

Calliandra haematocephala Hassk.

Common Names: Red Powerpuff

Family: Fabaceae

Habit: Calliandra haematocephala grows as a shrub to 3 meters in height (usually shorter).  The bipinnately compound leaves are arranged alternately, to 15 cm long with pinnae in 1 pair.  The subleaflets are 5-10 in pairs, lanceolate, with an obtuse or mucronate leaf apex and entire margin. The leaf is subtended by lanceolate stipules. Leaves and stems glabrous to sparingly pilose.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are in arranged in powder-puff ball heads. The calyx has 5 fused sepals forming a tube.  The corolla has 5 greenish fused petals forming a tube twice the length of the calyx.  There are numerous red/pink/white stamens that are 3-15 times the length of the corolla.  The ovary is superior with a single locule.  The fruit is a pubescent legume that turns brown at maturity and is elastically dehiscent.

Habitat: Calliandra haematocephala grows in Human Altered environments such as yards, gardens, road side planting, etc.

Distribution: Calliandra haematocephala is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago. It is native to Bolivia but is grown worldwide as an ornamental.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Calliandra haematocephala is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamas.